Hanson came within a whisker of record highs today as talk of a bid for the building products supplier resurfaced. The shares climbed 16p to 793p, after briefly touching 799p, as more than four million changed hands.
Just a few weeks ago Hanson was being linked with Mexican cement maker Cemex, which later turned its attention elsewhere. Now the gossip in the Square Mile claims it’s the turn of the French in the shape of another cement maker, Lafarge, which bought our own Blue Circle Industries six years ago.
City speculators say that despite the high share price and its expensive rating, Hanson remains vulnerable to takeover. It is heavily exposed to the depressed US housing market, but is unlikely to leave any potential suitor with much change out of £6 billion.