The Morning News Update with Sports Direct, Merlin Entertainments and WYG

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FTSE 100

Sports Direct International (SPD) – Notwithstanding recent speculation, Sports Direct confirms that it is not considering an offer to acquire OFFICE. 

BAE Systems (BA.) – announces a reorganisation of its portfolio of interests in a number of industrial companies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and an enhancement of its existing relationship with Riyadh Wings Aviation Academy.

Shire (SHP) – receives a $248 million cash refund from the Canadian revenue authorities and expects a further $162 million in late 2014.

FTSE 250

Galliford Try (GFRD) – its Building business has been appointed as a Selected Panel Member by the Education Funding Agency (‘EFA’) for the £35.7 million Hull and East Riding first batch of schools under the Priority Schools Building Programme.

Hansteen Holdings (HSTN) – following its acquisition, from Unicredit Bank, of 50% of a loan secured against a portfolio of mainly multi-let industrial property in the Netherlands, for a 51% discount to the value of the loan, it has now completed the acquisition of the property assets within the portfolio, for a total consideration of €106 million.

Merlin Entertainments (MERL) – will open its first LEGOLAND park in Japan. The new park, to be located in the city of Nagoya, will cost c¥32 billion (c£185 million) in total and adds to Merlin’s existing portfolio of six LEGOLAND parks.

Small caps

Minera IRL (MIRL) – the Peruvian Ministry of Mines and Energy has granted the Construction Permit to build the Ollachea Gold Mine.

Plastics Capital (PLA) – pre-tax profits up by 9T to £3.59 million in the year to March, net debt cut by 14% to £7.17 million.

WYG (WYG) – has been awarded a 3-year technical assistance contract by the European Investment Bank (EIB), on behalf of the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF), which commences immediately. 

Escher Group (ESCH) – Emirates Post Group, the national postal operator in United Arab Emirates, has licensed Escher’s market leading Ripostecounter automation software. The contract includes a five year maintenance agreement to 2019.

ISG (ISG) – underlying trading for the year ended 30 June 2014 will be in line with management’s expectations.

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