After statistics recently saying that M & A activity hit its highest levels in Q1 2015 since 2007, today we have the recommended £47bn deal from Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA & RDSB) to buy BG Group (BG). On top of that there are rumours that Vivendi want to buy Sky and chat that Google might want to buy Twitter.
All quite exciting stuff and should help to keep the market bubbling away near its highs ahead of the election. Not so good for RD Shell holders though as their shares are down by around 5% on the back of them paying up for the perennial bid candidate BG Group. Within the announcement they did commit to dividend of at least $1.88 per share for the next two years which puts it on a close to a 6% yield at the current price below 2100 pence with share buy backs of $25bn from 2017 and 2020.
However this does seems like a bit of a punt on a recovery in the oil price as they say this buy back programme is subject to progress with debt reduction and Brent oil prices recovering towards the middle of Shell's long term planning range of $70-$90-$110 per barrel.
Aside from that we had a decent looking Q1 update from the recruitment group Robert Walters (RWA) which has sent them up by 5%. This included excellent growth in the UK with net fee income increasing 22%, with a broad-based upturn in permanent recruitment activity across both London and the regions. This should augur well for Matchtech (MTEC) (which I have written up in the past) who report their results tomorrow after the recent closing of their deal to buy Networkerts International. So I would hope this might be a catalysts for the shares to get a bit of a move on as they have been a bit pedestrian up to now.