With the firms on the UK stockmarket 18% to 44% cheaper than their US and Japanese counterparts, and our reputation for being the easiest country in the world in which to make a takeover bid, says Shares, it's not surprising many of our firms have become "prime targets" for foreign predators (for more, click here: Why are European firms taking over Britain?).
But which are likely to be "squarely in the firing line"? Within banking, insurance and finance, says Shares, the London Stock Exchange (LSE, 766p) has been a perennial bid target. Other potential targets in the industry are Lloyds TSB (LLOY, 552p versus a "likely take-out price" of 647p), Alliance & Leicester (AL, £10.83/£12.13), Northern Rock (NRK, £10.92/£14.24), Aviva (AV, 752p/920p), and Prudential (PRU, 598p/742p).
Among utilities, Shares tips Centrica (CNA, 284p/331p), which would make sense for "a gas producer looking for a high-priced market". Consider too Scottish Power (SPW, 597p/641p), United Utilities (UU, 685p/809p), ICI (ICI, 351p/462p), Pilkington (PILK, 157p/176p), Rotork (ROR, 733p/927p), Charter (CHTR, 651p/784p), Whitbread (WTB, £10.74/£11.71), BT Group (BT, 215p/247p) and Corus (CS, 70p/102p).
Charles has previously written for the MoneyWeek, giving readers his share tips regularly and covering other topics on the side such as stock markets and the economy. He has also written for The Business, Shares, Investors Chronicle and The Evening Standard, and Charles has presented on LBC and been a guest on BBC One and BBC World. Aside from his journalist background, Charles graduated as a chemist from the University of Oxford specialising in ligand gated ion channels.
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