888 & Rank Group take a punt on William Hill..

Natural resource stocks weighed on the FTSE 100(-0.3%) as Cairn Energy(-7.2%), Tullow Oil(-5.4%) and Royal Dutch Shell(-2.7%) all traded lower. The FTSE 250 was propped up as William Hill, IP Group, and Daejan Holding pushed the index higher.
William Hill soared 9.6% higher in early trade after confirming an approach from 888 & Rank Group regarding a potential bid, before finishing 4.9% higher at the close. Both 888 and Rank Group said they see “significant industrial logic” in the combination of William Hill, “through consolidation of their complementary online and land-based operations, delivery of substantial revenues and cost synergies from the anticipated benefits of economies of scale which will accrue to all shareholders”. William Hill described the approach as “highly preliminary”, and that the consortium of 888 and Rank Group did not set out a position on price, timing, terms, form of consideration, or transaction structure.
Brent oil took a large leg lower as it slumped from $47.25/bbl on Thursday to an intraday and one month low of $44.66/bbl. The fall in the price of Brent crude was prompted by fading demand and a summer glut, as the downward trend was also present in WTI trade. Global oil demand for the third quarter of the year grew at less than a third of the rate it did in the same period last year, as rig count began to increase on North America.
At the close European indices were mixed as the FTSE 100 closed -0.30%, the Cac 40 +0.16% and the Dax 30 +0.50%.

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