Company News

UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 23

(Adds company news items, futures)

May 23 (Reuters) - Britain’s FTSE 100 index is seen opening 27 points lower at 7,307 on Thursday, according to financial bookmakers, with futures down 0.58% ahead of the cash market open.

* LondonMetric Property: Warehouse owner LondonMetric Property said on Thursday it had agreed to buy real estate investment trust A & J Mucklow in a cash and stock deal that values the Midlands-based peer at 414.7 million pounds ($524.22 million).

* B&M European: British discounter B&M European Value Retail reported an 8.7% rise in full-year profit and said it had entered its new financial year with renewed trading momentum.

* JOHN MENZIES: UK airline servicing company John Menzies Plc has appointed Swiss private equity fund manager Christian Kappelhoff-Wulff to its board and formed two new committees to consider strategic and structural options for the company.

* TALKTALK: British broadband provider TalkTalk reported a 17% rise in full-year core earnings to 237 million pounds ($300 million), in line with expectations, as it benefited from lower costs and customers switching to faster fibre products.

* SERCO: British outsourcer Serco will buy Alion’s Naval Systems Business Unit (NSBU), a provider of ship and submarine engineering services to the U.S. Navy, for $225 million, Serco said on Thursday.

* EnQuest: British North Sea focused oil producer EnQuest had reduced its net debt to $1.724 billion by the end of April from $1.774 billion at the end of 2018, it said on Thursday, reaffirming its output guidance.

* United Utilities: United Utilities reported a rise in annual earnings on Thursday and was the second UK regional water provider this week to warn that the possibility of renationalisation under a future Labour government was a key area of uncertainty.

* MERLIN: Activist investor ValueAct confirmed an earlier Financial Times report which stated that it urged Merlin Entertainments, the owner of Madame Tussauds, the London Eye, Alton Towers, to go private.

* ACACIA: Barrick Gold Corp’s proposal to take full control of its Acacia Mining Plc unit to resolve a long-standing tax dispute with Tanzania has drawn the ire of Acacia’s minority shareholders, who may have the ultimate vote on a deal.

* LLOYD’S OF LONDON: Lloyd’s of London is proposing merging two of its governance bodies, the council and the board which together oversee the insurance market, to reduce overlap, a source familiar with the matter said.

* ARCADIA: British retail tycoon Philip Green’s Arcadia Group said on Wednesday it planned to close 23 of its 566 stores in the UK and Ireland in a major restructuring of the fashion business that could also see its Topshop/Topman stores close in the U.S.

* EX-DIVS: Bunzl, Carnival, DCC, Imperial Brands and Morrison will trade without entitlement to their latest dividend pay-out on Thursday, trimming 3.02 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.

* The UK blue chip index closed 0.1% higher on Wednesday. Brexit sensitive housebuilders and airlines slid as rumours circulated that ministers could oust Theresa May after her latest EU exit plan failed to win support, while exporters lifted the FTSE 100 as the pound weakened.

* For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:


> Financial Times

> Other business headlines (Reporting by Justin George Varghese and Adil Bhat in Bengaluru)