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Dec. 13, 2010, 12:49 p.m. EST

Wellstream shines in higher London

Mining stocks drive the rally

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By Aude Lagorce, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Shares of Wellstream Holdings PLC rallied in a broadly higher London market on Monday after General Electric Co. made a $1.3 billion offer for the oil-services firm.

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The FTSE 100 index /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -1.07%  closed up 0.8% to 5,860.75, helped by strength in the mining sector.

The British benchmark gained 1.2% last week.

Wellstream, a maker of flexible-pipeline products for the oil and gas industry, gained 5.8% to 790 pence a share.

GE /zigman2/quotes/208495069/composite GE -1.57%  unveiled an offer of 780 pence a share plus a special dividend of 6 pence a share for the company. The bid values Wellstream at around 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion).

The Wellstream board plans to unanimously recommend the offer by the first quarter of 2011.

GE said the acquisition would help it expand in Brazil, Africa and Asia.

Elsewhere in London, mining stocks drove the rally as metal prices continued to rise.

Shares of Kazakhmys PLC  gained 4.1% and Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES -3.96%   added 4%.

“The relentless demand for copper and the strong move on its price is having a telling effect on stocks this morning. Mining companies are responsible for the bulk of the FTSE’s rise as the index continues its ‘Santa’ rally,’” Manoj Ladwa, senior trader at ETX Capital, said in emailed comments.

China’s decision to raise the reserve requirement for its banks, rather than hike interest rates to control inflation, came as a relief, though many believe interest-rate hikes will be necessary in 2011.

In other news, consumer-products champion Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC  agreed to buy privately-held Indian personal-care company Paras Pharmaceuticals for £460 million.

Shares of Reckitt rose 1.8%.

Simon Marshall-Lockyer, analyst at Jefferies, said he views the move positively, despite the “eye-popping” exit multiple, as it consolidates Reckitt’s leading position in the cold and flu market and allows it to aggressively expand in a key emerging market.

In the latest twist in the Capital Shopping Centres Group PLC  saga, the firm strongly criticized an alternative funding offer for the Trafford Centre mall acquisition from Simon Property Group Inc /zigman2/quotes/209746667/composite SPG -5.87% , one of its shareholders and a would-be bidder.

CSC spurned the offer, calling it “completely impractical.”

Shares of CSC edged 0.9% higher.

In management changes, defense company BAE Systems PLC  said Chief Financial Officer George Rose will retire after 13 years in the role and be replaced by Peter Lynas.

Shares of BAE were steady.

Banknote printer De La Rue PLC /zigman2/quotes/206574260/delayed UK:DLAR +1.78%  appointed Tim Cobbold as its new CEO, replacing James Hussey.

De La Rue shares rose 0.5%.

-80.26 -1.07%
Volume: 0.00
May 18, 2022 4:51p
$ 75.20
-1.20 -1.57%
Volume: 7.06M
May 18, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$84.09 billion
Rev. per Employee
UK : U.K.: London
747.60 p
-30.80 -3.96%
Volume: 708,589
May 18, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
£5.74 billion
Rev. per Employee
$ 113.67
-7.09 -5.87%
Volume: 2.03M
May 18, 2022 4:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$45.37 billion
Rev. per Employee
UK : U.K.: London
114.20 p
+2.00 +1.78%
Volume: 248,320
May 18, 2022 4:35p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
£218.97 million
Rev. per Employee

Aude Lagorce is a senior correspondent for MarketWatch in London.

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