Takeover news boosts Bryant stock by 4%


Shares in housebuilding firm Bryant shot up 4 per cent yesterday (Monday) as news of its takeover by construction firm Taylor Woodrow was confirmed to the City.

Bryant, which had previously come within hours of a merger with rival Beazer Homes, picked up 8p at 200p after agreeing to the 556 million offer.

Taylor Woodrow lost 31/2p at 1731/2p, while jilted Beazer gained 11/2p to stand at 1841/2p.

The latest chapter in the construction sector's merry-go-round was one of the few highlights from a slow start to trading on the London Stock Exchange.

After the first hour, the FTSE-100 Index of leading blue-chip shares was up 3.9 points at 6213.2.

The market was not being helped by a lack of sentiment towards telecom stocks, including the market's biggest company Vodafone, which fell 61/4p to 2293/4p.

Following Vodafone lower was Colt Telecom, off 58p at 17.12, BT down 10p at 694p and Energis, off 18p at 560p.

The retail sector remained in focus, with shares in Iceland falling 8 per cent, or 201/2p, to a chilly 238p, after it announced disappointing sales.

Marks & Spencer, which is due to announce its festive trading results today, was also down 11/2p at 198p.

Elsewhere, shares in Huntingdon Life shot up 106 per cent, or by 81/2p to 161/2p, after the animal testing laboratory confirmed it had confirmed it had secured a financial rescue package.