Two of the biggest takeover sagas of the year look set to be resolved as deal mania


  • Bidders for Anglo American and Royal Mail must put forward formal offers 
  • If they don’t, they must walk away for at least six months
  • BHP and Daniel Kretinsky have been set a deadline of 5pm on Wednesday

Two of the biggest takeover sagas of the year look set to be resolved this week as deal mania sweeps the City.

Bidders for mining giant Anglo American and Royal Mail owner International Distributions Services (IDS) must put forward formal offers in the coming days – or walk away for at least six months.

BHP has been set a deadline of 5pm on Wednesday to table its bid for Anglo after the miner last week rebuffed its Australian rival’s third offer.

Meanwhile, Daniel Kretinsky – the billionaire investor dubbed the ‘Czech Sphinx’ – has the same deadline to make an offer.

It comes as a wave of take-overs have swept the City in recent months.

Frenzy: Buyers have circled British firms looking for a deal, with the value of bids from overseas topping £70billion so far this year

Frenzy: Buyers have circled British firms looking for a deal, with the value of bids from overseas topping £70billion so far this year

Buyers have circled British firms looking for a deal, with the value of bids from overseas topping £70billion so far this year. The IDS board last week backed a £3.5billion bid from Kretinsky – the firm’s biggest shareholder.

Meanwhile, Anglo’s board has rejected three bids from BHP – worth £31billion, £34billion and £39billion – but last week said it would engage with its competitor.

A major hurdle to a deal has been the requirement for Anglo to sell off two of its South African businesses.

In response, Anglo unveiled its own plan to split itself up, which would include the sale of diamond giant De Beers.

If it goes ahead, the tie-up would be one of the biggest mining deals on record.

It comes amid a crisis on the London stock exchange which has suffered a mass exodus of firms and a lack of new listings. Last week, Britain’s biggest investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown became the latest London-listed company to be targeted by foreign buyers.

It rejected a £4.67billion joint bid from private equity firm CVC, Nordic Capital and Platinum Ivy, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Cyber security group Darktrace has backed a £4.2billion offer by US private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

London-listed firms have also been quitting the market for rival financial hubs.

Gambling group Flutter and travel agent Tui have both listed overseas and Cambridge-based chipmaker Arm decided to float on Wall Street last year.

One analyst has warned the market is the target of a take-over ‘feeding frenzy’, as buyers swoop on undervalued firms.





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