In focus Wednesday was a merger between UBM PLC and Informa PLC, after they set out proposed terms of the potential 3.83 billion-pounds ($5.27 billion) takeover of UBM and said that talks are continuing.
Under the terms of the potential deal, shareholders would receive 1.083 Informa shares and 163 pence in cash for each UBM share held.
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Based on Informa's closing share price of 747.4 pence, this values each UBM share at 972.43 pence. UBM shareholders would also be entitled to receive UBM's 2017 final dividend.
UBM shares were up 9.3% in afternoon trade, while Informa shares dropped 7.7%.
ASML Holding NV announced that it will launch a 2.5 billion-euros ($3.06 billion) share buyback in 2018-2019, and reported record sales and net income for 2017 after a strong final quarter.
The Dutch semiconductor company reported fourth-quarter net income of EUR644 million, compared with EUR524 million in the same quarter the prior year.
Chief Executive Peter Wennink said quarterly performance was boosted by the revenue recognition of two system sales occurring earlier than expected, and by some customers requesting shipments sooner than anticipated.
ASML proposed a dividend a share of EUR1.40, up from EUR1.20 the previous year. The company will launch the share buyback from Thursday, and will cancel the shares after purchase, it said.
ASML shares were up 6.1%.
Alstom SA (ALO.FR) said that third-quarter sales and orders rose, due to several large contracts in France, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
Sales at the French train maker for the October-December period were EUR1.76 billion, compared with EUR1.66 billion a year earlier.
Chief Executive Henri Poupart-Lafarge said Alstom continues to make progress on the merger with Siemens's mobility division and he expects to sign a business combination agreement with the company's works council in the coming period.
Shares gained 1.5% in afternoon trade.
Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA (CO.FR) said that final-quarter sales fell 0.3% from a year earlier, with total growth falling in both its France and Latin American retail units.
The retailer, which operates a variety of supermarket brands in France and other countries, reported total sales of EUR10 billion for the three months ended Dec. 31, down from EUR10.3 billion a year earlier, while there was a decline in total sales growth at its convenience stores and Casino supermarkets in France.
In Latin America, total sales growth fell 1% compared with the same period last year, Casino said.
Casino shares were down 6.3%.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 17, 2018 08:21 ET (13:21 GMT)