Updates from Bwin.party, EDF and Ladbrokes

Japanese Nikkei closes down more than 2% meanwhile Bwin.party and GVC tie the knot in a deal valued at £1.6bn

savings, tax, stockmarket, pensions, cash, investment FTSE 100, Bwin, EDF, LadbrokesRather more positive momentum for the FTSE 100 on Thursday, climbing 110.7 points to 6,194.1. Miners staged a modest comeback with Glencore and AngloAmerican both up 6% to 130.95p and 725p respectively. easyJet surged 5.3% to 1762p, helped by best-ever August passenger numbers. There was a 4.7% climb too for Morrisons, lifting it to 170.80p.

The Dow Jones in contrast was much more subdued, seeing a 23-point climb to 16,374.7. Meanwhile Japanese shares are down heavily this morning. Chinese markets are closed.

We start with official confirmation that online gaming operators Bwin.partyand GVC will merge. The deal is valued at £1.6bn overall. Not such great news for 888 following several weeks of offer and counter offer.

Bwin shareholders will get 25p in cash a share plus 0.231 new GVC shares. "After a carefully managed and diligent review process," says Bwin chairman Philip Yea, "the Board has withdrawn its recommendation for the 888 offer and is now advising bwin.party shareholders to vote in favour of the Offer from GVC."

Originally Bwin had accepted a £900m cash/share 888 offer; the GVC deal though is more complex. The agreement comes on the back of considerable deal consolidation: Paddy Power and Betfair, plus Ladbrokes and Coral.

Next, EDF has acknowledged that the UK's first nuclear plant in many years has been delayed and will not start producing power till 2023. Much of the delay at Hinkley Point, Somerset, is blamed on financial packaging for the operation. The project has yet to begin construction.

A similar project in Flamanville Normandy has also been delayed until 2018. The Hinkley start date has already been delayed several times, putting more pressure on generating capacity. Meanwhile coal-fired power plants will be forced to close from air quality legislation.

"All of the experience gained at Flamanville," says Jean-Bernard Lévy, EDF Chairman and Managing Director, "will be invaluable for other EPR projects, such as Hinkley Point."

Lastly, Ladbrokes says that Darren Shapland will retire from its Board on 24 September after serving for six years as a non-executive director.

Ladbrokes says a search is ongoing for a replacement non-exec director "who will also take on the role of Chair of the Audit Committee with an announcement expected in due course".

"Darren," says chairman Peter Erskine, "has made a significant contribution to the business over the past six years. His insights have been hugely valued, and on behalf of the Board, I wish him every success in his future endeavours."

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