Takeover bid boosts shares


19-02-2002

Electricity company Innogy surged nearly 19 per cent on the London market yesterday (Monday) after it confirmed it had received takeover approaches.

Hopes of consolidation in the sector lifted a range of other utilities during an otherwise lacklustre start to the session.



By 9am, the FTSE 100 Index was ahead 2.9 points at 5185.4 after recovering from a 30 point loss in the opening minutes of trading.



The mood had not been helped by a poor close in Wall Street on Friday following weaker-than-expected US consumer confidence numbers and further concerns about accounting standards.



Back in London, npower owner Innogy was leading the way with a rise of 38p to 249p. Innogy did not reveal the identity of its pursuers, although weekend reports put German group RWE in frame.



Scottish Power, which ruled itself out despite talking to Innogy in the past about a possible combination, rose 3p to 430p.



Other utilities on the way up included International Power, ahead 8p at 188p, and Scottish & Southern Energy, 6p stronger at 651p.



Elsewhere, troubled engineering group Invensys rose 4p to 111p ahead of the announcement of an important strategy review today (Tuesday).