MARKET REPORT: Asos shares surge 7.1% on Turkish takeover talks

MARKET REPORT: Asos shares are up 7.1% after reports a Turkish online retailer made a £1bn bid for the fast-fashion group in December

Asos shares were sought after after reports over the weekend that it had received a £1bn takeover bid last year.

The fast-fashion group, which owns Topshop and Miss Selfridge, was recently pulled from the FTSE 250. It was valued at £10 to £12 per share in a bid from Turkish online retailer Trendyol in December.

That was much higher than Asos’ closing price of £3.50 on Friday.

While talks with Trendyol — which is backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba — appear to have ended, the rapprochement was seen as a sign that Asos has sparked interest from potential bidders.

That could make Asos the latest household name to be taken off the London stock market.

Potential target: Asos, which owns Topshop and Miss Selfridge, was valued in December at between £10 and £12 per share in a bid from Turkish online retailer Trendyol

Asos shares rose 7.1 percent, or 24.8 pence, to 375.2 pence.

But the stock remains far from its peak of over 7700p in March 2018.

Asos declined to comment. The London-listed group attracted investors for £75 million last month to strengthen its finances and help fund a turnaround plan.

The retailer revealed losses of more than £290 million for the six months to the end of February as it was hit by pressure on household budgets.

Russ Mould, director of investment at AJ Bell, said: “Interest in an acquisition often emerges when a broken company is building a recovery plan and there are early signs that it is working.

“Those green shoots can give a suitor confidence that it’s worth making an offer now rather than waiting for the company to recover and then having to pay a much higher price when the risks are lower.”

The FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent or 7.29 points to 7599.99 and the FTSE 250 fell 0.2 percent or 35.76 points to 19113.55.

Oil prices rose more than 2 percent to more than $78 a barrel after Saudi Arabia announced it would cut production by 1 million barrels per day from next month.

Stock Watch – Chill Brands

1686002676 751 MARKET REPORT Asos shares surge 71 on Turkish takeover talks

Shares of Chill Brands rose after it made shipping arrangements for home delivery of its nicotine-free vapor products to U.S. customers in all 50 states.

Companies are not allowed to make direct sales because the United States Postal Service cannot ship vapor products.

But Chill Brands, whose vapes contain cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis plants, has made alternative shipping arrangements. Shares rose 6.7 percent, or 0.75 pence, to 12 pence.

The decision came on Sunday after a meeting with Opec+, a group of oil-producing countries, who also said production targets would fall by a further 1.4 million barrels per day from 2024.

Such moves are aimed at raising oil prices. The rise in oil prices did not help BP as shares fell 0.3 percent or 1.4 pence to 472.95 pence and Shell 0.2 percent or 5 pence to 2285 pence.

There was good news for Indivior after it settled a seven-year-long lawsuit involving dozens of US states at a lower-than-expected price.

The pharmaceutical group, which makes drugs to treat opioid addiction, has agreed to pay £82.7 million after allegations it illegally suppressed generic competition for its product Suboxone.

This was much less than the £242 million it had earmarked to cover the lawsuit that began in 2016. The payment is expected to be made this month, the company added.

Shares rose 7.8 percent, or 115p, to 1590p.

Fund manager Abrdn was among the biggest blue-chip winners after launching a share buyback program worth up to £150 million. Shares added 3.2 percent or 6.5 pence to 210 pence.

Home developer Watkin Jones has signed a deal to sell a rental development in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

The buyers, Legal & General (-0.7 per cent, or 1.6 pence, to 234.4 pence) and Clanmil Housing Association, will pay £155 million and become owners of The Loft Lines development once it is completed.

The brownfield site will be transformed into a community of 627 rental homes and 81 ‘social housing affordable housing’ built on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard (0.7 percent, or 0.1p, to 13.75p). Shares rose 1.6 percent, or 1.1 pence, to 69.4 pence.

Dr. Martens got little rest after the cobbler’s target price was cut by Morgan Stanley and Barclays. Shares fell 4.1 percent, or 5.7 pence, to 134.1 pence.