Updates from Interserve and Stobart Group

Before the Easter weekend the FTSE 100 climbed +0.38% to 6,411, 24 points higher. Tate & Lyle was the board's biggest climber, up +3.03%, a 52-week high. Markets more broadly remained mixed with the Dow Jones finishing five points down at 14,572.

Overnight in Asia stocks in Tokyo were down -0.88% following a rise in the yen and creeping business pessimism.
Following the Easter break it's a slow week for corporate updates. Xstrata and Glencore says the date by which its merger agreement was to be finalised has been pushed back to 2 May thanks to an on-going investigation into the deal from the Chinese authorities.

"Completion of the Merger remains conditional upon the receipt of the outstanding regulatory approval in China and completion of the Xstrata court process," said the company in a statement today.

The deal has already been backed by European, American and South African regulators. The 'Glenstrata' deal had originally been expected to have been tied up by the last quarter of 2012. It recently emerged that the chief financial officer of Glencore saw his pay leap nearly 50% in 2012.

Next, news from the Stobart Group. Stobart - it issued a profits warning at the start of the year - expects to report results moderately ahead of market expectations it claims; it has also signed a new three year contract with Tesco, which runs until February 2016.

"This agreement formalises the previous arrangements with Tesco, to whom the Group has been providing both primary and secondary distribution services on a pay as you go basis for the past eight years."

The Stobart Board has decided that the role of Executive Chairman is no longer appropriate for the company and Stobart's Avril Palmer-Baunack will stand down from this role with immediate effect.

Finally, Interserve claims it has gone nuclear with a three-year facilities management contract with Magnox Ltd, the company responsible for operating ten of the UK's nuclear power stations. The contract is valued in excess of £80 million and includes an option to extend for a further three years.

Interserve will self-deliver a full range of services including mechanical and engineering maintenance, catering, cleaning, office services, grounds maintenance and civil works.

"This is a really exciting opportunity for Interserve," says managing director Guy Bruce, "because not only does it significantly expand our capabilities in the sector, it gives us a footprint on many of the UK's nuclear sites."

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