ZPG, Carpetright and Crawshaw

“The FTSE 100 is on track to end the week nearly 2% ahead, given its current position of 7,700 in early trading on Friday. Maintaining this pace of growth would put the blue chip index at new record highs early next week,” says AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould.

ZPG

“A takeover of Zoopla parent company ZPG could be a done deal as the £2.2bn recommended offer from technology fund Silver Lake already has the backing of 30% shareholder Daily Mail & General Trust.

“The newspaper publisher floated the property site (then simply known as Zoopla) in 2014 at 220p and with this bid amounting to 490p it will bank a very healthy return assuming the deal goes through.

“ZPG has itself been on the acquisition trail since its IPO as founder Alex Chesterman looked to turn the business into a one-stop-shop offering for consumers to ‘research, fund and manage their homes’. This has involved adding price comparison and consumer finance services.

“Zoopla itself is the number two outfit in the property site space behind Rightmove. The latter will be watching Silver Lake’s intentions for Zoopla and whether it intends to launch a more concerted challenge to its market leader status.” 

Carpetright

“The troubled retailer has reminded everyone of the cost of being in financial difficulty as it is forced to accept a £17.25m loan that comes with an unattractive 18% interest rate and £2.25m arrangement fee. This is in addition to a £12.5m loan arranged in March.

“The first loan is expected to be paid back by a £60m equity raise scheduled for later this month.

“Shareholders normally have limited patience with companies that have proved to be serial offenders with profit warnings over the years and Carpetright certainly fits the bill.

“However, the fact that creditors and investors have already backed a rescue plan would suggest Carpetright still has some life left in it. A Company Voluntary Agreement will allow the retailer to close some stores and lower rents on others.

Crawshaw

“Investors may raise a few eyebrows today when they read the announcement from meat seller Crawshaw revealing its new chief executive, Jim Viggars.

“After the pleasantries welcoming the new boss, there is a line referencing a media article in 2015 which claims Viggars was dismissed from Asda for gross misconduct in connection with breaches of Walmart’s (Asda’s parent) expenses policies.

“Companies are increasingly encouraged to be transparent and open about directors’ past and present activities as it is good corporate governance practice.

“Clearly Crawshaw’s board feel Viggars’ previous actions weren’t serious enough to question his ability to run a plc company, otherwise they wouldn’t have appointed him. However, the revelation may come as a slight shock to Crawshaw’s shareholders.

“It places instant pressure on Viggars to prove that he can successfully grow the business and behave in the manner appropriate to being a chief executive.”

These articles are for information purposes only and are not a personal recommendation or advice.