What’s it about French tycoons and British telephone corporations? Whereas Patrick Drahi lays siege to BT, one other “French insurgent”, Xavier Niel, has begun storming the ramparts of Vodafone, mentioned Jamie Nimmo in The Sunday Instances. Niel has constructed a 2.5% stake value £750m within the UK cell phone big through his Atlas Investissement car.
The founding father of the Iliad telecoms empire is one thing of a celeb entrepreneur in France, his profile raised by his long-term relationship with the heiress to the LVMH fortune, Delphine Arnault. Niel’s actual plan for Vodafone is anybody’s guess. He has left the market, and the corporate’s prime brass, guessing.
“Brexit was purported to awaken a latent buccaneering spirit,” mentioned Tom Braithwaite within the Monetary Instances. “And so it has. For the French.” The Iliad/Vodafone tilt is only one of “a flurry of cross-Channel offers” struck on a single day final week, involving tech, satellite tv for pc and recycling corporations. Is that this some sort of “dastardly” French plot? Bankers level as an alternative to the relative decline in valuations and foreign money. Put together for a rash of American corporations to affix the French “on the UK’s cut price bin”.
“Even earlier than sterling obtained this low, overseas company and buyout bidders have been benefiting from relative greenback power to pounce on London-listed corporations,” mentioned Chris Hughes on Bloomberg. Due to Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, this “UK is low-cost” narrative has “gotten one other leg”.
Analysts at Canaccord Genuity just lately drew up an inventory of 100 corporations it considers to be targets – together with ITV, Subsequent, Greggs, BAE Programs, Flutter and The Week’s writer, Future, mentioned Ben Marlow in The Each day Telegraph. Essentially the most “susceptible” are the “low-cost and money wealthy”. The “all-time low pound” has turned a few of our greatest corporations into “sitting geese”.