United Kingdom

Market report: Record summer talk gives easyJet a lift

Reassuring words from Lufthansa’s boss Carsten Spohr at a major get-together of the airline industry provided some upward lift to airline stocks on Monday.

Both easyJet and British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group were some of the largest FTSE 100 risers, given a proverbial tailwind by Mr Spohr’s talk about a forthcoming record summer.

His comments, which were made in Sydney at the International Air Transport Association (Iata) conference, provided a positive read across to the UK-listed duo, with the Luton-based low-cost carrier up 65p to £17.78 and IAG up 18.6p to 704.4p.

Things weren’t so turbulence-free for packaging firm Smurfit Kappa though. The Dublin-headquartered company, which has been run by a member of the Smurfit family since the Thirties, rebuffed a second takeover attempt by American firm International Paper in March.

The Memphis-based rival, the US’s largest listed packaging firm, offered €8.9 bn (£7.8bn) for Smurfit but was rejected. The deadline for International Paper to make a firm bid is tomorrow and if it fails to do so, it would not be able to bid again for 12 months without the permission of the Irish Takeover Panel.

Smurfit’s shares jumped almost a third in March to £32.18 on investors learning of International’s overtures and have since dropped more than 10pc to £28.80, perhaps suggestive of what shareholders are hoping for.

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