Friday 20 March 2015

Market caps

I see Birmingham-based manufacturer IMI snuck its out announcement about the appointment of Lord Robert Smith of Kelvin as its new chairman on Budget day - a good day to release information when you don't want to pesky hacks to dig into your press release as newsrooms are overloaded with economic and political stories from the Chancellor. See the link:

For readers that don't recall, Lord Smith is one of Scotland's most prominent business people and the former chairman of Scotland-based Weir Group.

Now, there is a bit of history between Weir Group and IMI, who compete in the production of valves and other pumping equipment for petrochemical businesses.

IMI is run by Mark Selway, the former chief executive of Weir Group. And last year, I revealed on Betaville that Weir Group and IMI held informal talks about a merger in early 2014 but the discussions never went anywhere. Here is the link to that piece: 

Weir Group's shares subsequently soared and the company decided to pursue a £9 billion combination with Finnish group Metso.  

However, the Metso deal fell apart and a few months later Weir Group publicly sacked Bank of America Merrill Lynch, its lead adviser and corporate broker, after the company found out the bank had secretly started working for IMI (what on, is not clear). Here is a Financial Times piece on the topic:

Since the collapse of the Metso deal, Weir Group's shares have taken a bit of a battering - falling about 30pc - as it makes equipment for the mining and oil industries.

So, both Weir Group and IMI are back to where they were in early 2014, trading on the stock market with roughly the same market capitalisations - about £3.7 billion.  

At this point, I'm going to shut up for fear of incurring the wrath of both IMI and Weir Group's PR representatives...  

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ben, the METSO deal, had one known the larger shareholders was never going ahead! Atb Fraser
    N.B. By Never, that means (Ever)