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UK pre-market stocks update – Unilever, GSK, Taylor Wimpey, AstraZeneca

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By Samuel Indyk – At 07:34GMT, FTSE 100 futures are trading higher by 0.1% at 7505.

In FX markets, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3681, EUR/GBP is trading at 0.8352. The US Dollar Index is flat.

Bitcoin is trading at $42,819.

Today’s calendar highlights include Bundesbank monthly report, Canadian Manufacturing Sales.

Unilever (LON:ULVR) / GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) – Unilever confirms it has approached GSK and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) about a potential acquisition of the GSK Consumer Healthcare unit. The latest proposal was for a total acquisition value of £50 billion, comprising £41.7 billion in cash and £8.3 billion in Unilever shares. GSK rejected all three proposals made on the basis that they fundamentally undervalued the Consumer Healthcare business and its future prospects.

Unilever – As a result of the reporting of interest in GSK’s Consumer Health unit, Unilever has brought forward a planned strategic update. Unilever said its future strategic direction lies in materially expanding its presence in Health, Beauty, and Hygiene. The board concluded that major acquisitions should be accompanied by the accelerated divestment of intrinsically lower growth brands and businesses.

Taylor Wimpey (LON:TW) – 2021 total UK home completions increased by 47% to 14,087. Net private reservation rate for 2021 was 0.91 homes per outlet per week (2020: 0.76). Average selling prices on private completions increased by 3% to £332k (2020: £323k), with the overall average selling price increasing to £300k (2020: £288k).  Will announce the level of excess cash return in respect of 2021 with the company’s full year results on 3 March 2022. 47% forward sold for 2022 (2021: 54%). Confident in achieving primary performance target to return the business to a 21-22% operating margin.

AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) – Enhertu granted Priority Review in the US for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer treated with a prior anti-HER2-based regimen.

Ashmore (LON:ASHM) – Total assets under management estimated at 31st December 2021 fell 4.4% from September to $87.3 billion. Assets under management declined by $4.0 billion over the period, comprising net outflows of $2.2 billion and negative investment performance of $1.8 billion.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals (LON:HIK) – Agreed to acquire the Canadian assets of Teligent for $45.75 million. The transaction is expected to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2022.

Oxford BioMedica (LON:OXB) – Chief Executive Officer John Dawson has signalled to the Board his intention to retire from the Company. Accordingly, the Board has initiated a formal search for a successor.

Qinetiq (LON:QQ) – Names Shawn Purvis as President and CEO of QinetiQ US, effective 16th February.

Capital & Counties Properties (LON:CAPCC) – As at 31 December 2021, the independent property valuation of Covent Garden was £1.7 billion, representing a like-for-like increase of 4.6% in the second half of the year and an overall movement of -0.6% for the full year. Rent collection in relation to the first quarter of 2022, invoiced in December 2021, is currently 86%.

Tritax EuroBox (LON:EBOX) – Completed the acquisition of the land and agreed to fund the development of a 17,832 sqm prime sustainable logistics asset in Sweden for SEK 402 million.

Big Yellow Group (LON:BYG) – Q3 total revenue increased 30% to £45.2 million. Occupancy across all 104 stores decreased by 245,000 sq ft compared to a loss of 193,000 sq ft in 2019. Move-outs were higher over this quarter than in 2019, reflective of a record first quarter’s occupancy gain leading up to the tapering off of the stamp duty holiday.

Endeavour Mining (LON:EDV) – Announced the discovery of 3.0 million ounces of Measured and Indicated resources and 0.9 million ounces of Inferred resources across its flagship Ity, Houndé and Sabodala-Massawa mines as well as at its Lafigué deposit on the Fetekro property.

Micro Focus (LON:MCRO) – Announced that it has successfully priced and allocated a €750 million and a $750 million Senior Secured Term Loan B.

Clinigen (LON:CLINC) – Agrees to be taken over by Triton in a deal worth 925 pence per share.

ASOS (LON:ASOS) – Former Farfetch executive Andrew Robb is reportedly among candidates for CEO position at ASOS (LON:ASOS). (Sky News)

Darktrace (LON:DARK) – Short seller ShadowFall has launched a short attack on Darktrace as it doubts the company “will stand the test of time”.

UK pre-market stocks update – Unilever, GSK, Taylor Wimpey, AstraZeneca

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