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Frankly, we’re sick of this. You are too, most likely. None of us wants to spend another day being strafed by rumour, counter rumour and unguided speculation about tobacco M&A. We’ve slogged through too many balance-of-probabilities analyses. We’ve had more than our fill of noncommittal steers during conversations with unattributable people familiar with things. It’s been going on for three solid months, and that’s enough. Consider this an intervention.
The Imperial Tobacco bid theory will follow after the RAW disclaimer. Read the disclaimer.
According to usually reliable people, Supernus has put an offer on the table of around $7.40 per share for XenoPort, which would value the latter at $470m. Takeover speculation has already lifted XenoPort by 18 per cent in the past week, taking its gain over the past month to 40 per cent after the company effectively put itself up for sale. Read more
Rumours are reaching FT Alphaville that nTelos, a US regional wireless company, is a takeover target for Shenandoah Telecommunications.
Shenandoah (better known as Shentel) has been putting together a knockout $200m offer for the Virginia-based mobile broadband provider, a nearly 50 per cent premium to Tuesday’s closing value, according to people claiming direct knowledge of the negotiations. A price of around $9.25 a share has been all but agreed, they said, against Tuesday’s close of $6.20. Read more
Warning! Read the boiler plate here
What follows concerns the likely actions of the government in Ulaanbaatar, which is pretty much the definition of a frontier market and all the perils that go with it. With that warning, come with us to Mongolia.
What we hear, from sources with a record of reliability, is that the government is strongly considering the purchase of a small stake in Turquoise Hill, the mining company controlled by Rio Tinto. Read more