STOCKS TO WATCH: Takeover talks could push Rolls-Royce shares higher

STOCKS TO WATCH: Takeover talks could push shares of struggling jet engine maker Rolls-Royce higher when markets reopen

Investors can choose to board Rolls-Royce when markets reopen tomorrow.

The struggling jet engine maker’s stock has yo-yoed since the pandemic curbed travel.

But the shares have just received a surprise boost after a blog post by financial website Betaville said Rolls was about to be involved in a “significant corporate transaction” with an unidentified suitor.

Hard work: The last time Rolls was linked to takeover speculation was after its 2020 cash call

The last time Rolls was linked to takeover speculation was after its 2020 cash call and, before that, in 2015 following a series of profit warnings.

Shares of Rolls’ defense industry rivals have been boosted by the outbreak of war in Ukraine, potentially strengthening their position to snap up struggling rivals.

However, broker Jefferies is cautious. He says the UK government’s share of gold would deter most bidders.

Arch-rival BAE Systems could be a contender, but a Rolls swoop would be a huge shift in strategy, he added.

To complicate matters, new chairwoman Anita Frew is on the hunt for a replacement for long-suffering boss Warren East, who will leave at the end of the year.

Could it be drawn into a dramatic final chapter?

Thumbs up for Ted Baker

Ted Baker’s stock price has looked like a scruffy suit lately.

But the emergence this month of a potential bid from US private equity firm Sycamore Partners sent the stock up 43%.

This is bad news for computer-based hedge fund Voleon Capital.

He closed his short position after the offer appeared.

Keep an eye on SocialAmp

Here’s a long-term bet to watch: digital marketing agency SocialAmp.

The company was founded by four young British entrepreneurs and counts MTV, Nickelodeon and Boohoo among its clients.

They even convinced billionaire Boohoo co-founder Mahmud Kamani to invest.

The company expects profits of £5m in the next financial year and there could be an IPO within three years. Promising.

New chef at IQE

This week will bring the first appearance of new IQE leader Americo Lemos.

He joins UK-listed semiconductor maker from New York-based rival Global-Foundries at a crucial time as supply chain issues continue to cause headaches.

Analysts at stockbroker Peel Hunt expect limited growth this year, but hope Lemos can transform the maker from “order taker to order chaser”.

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