Energis, Colt Telecom shares rise on takeover speculation

Companies could end up a victim of their own success -- but for now, investors benefit

Is Energis (EGS: quote ) ripe for a takeover? The speculation alone has been enough to lift the company's share price Monday and Tuesday, as rumours circulated that Continental and American telcos are having a close look at the company.

At midday Tuesday, shares were up 66, or 3.3 percent, to 2,076p.

Though Energis isn't yet raking it in, it has had success in pursuing its business model of rolling out innovative telecommunications products in the UK, and similar services could make an impact in Europe. Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom were seen as European front-runners for a buyout, with Bell Atlantic named as an American contender.

Energis sells business communications services utilising a UK-wide fibre-optic network built along the power lines of its founding company, the National Grid, which owns just under 50 percent. Through a joint venture called MetroHoldings, with Detsche Telekom and France Telecom, Energis plans to build UK city networks and expand its national network. The company operates Planet Online, a business-oriented Internet service provider, and collaborated with electronics retailer Dixons Group to launch free-ISP Freeserve.

Its shares have more than doubled in the past year.

Colt Telecom (CTM: quote ) also rose on speculation of a takeover, with shares up 25 at 1,872p.

NetCall shares soared yesterday after the Sunday Daily Mail picked it as a good buy, but profit-taking left the shares down 13 to 115p at midday Tuesday. The Mail said NetCall, which sells Internet-based telephony services, is to raise £3m in venture capital, which could bring it to the attention of big institutional investors. (NetCall isn't to be confused with CallNet, which recently rolled out an 0800 service for Internet access.)

ARM Holdings (ARM: quote ) has been up recently on generally strong tech shares, but leapt a further 103-1/2, or 5.8 percent, to 1,886 at midday after a deal with the US' Texas Instruments (TI). ARM and TI will collaborate on chips for next-generation wireless devices.

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