European Stocks Retreat as U.K. Elections, Greek Debt Bring Uncertainty; TeleCity Gains

LONDON (TheDeal) -- European markets are in retreat this morning, with Britain facing a tantalizingly inconclusive general election while pessimism continues to surround the outcome of talks on the Greek bailout next week. It's much the same picture in Asia, as global markets seem to have taken to heart the old saying: "Sell in May and go away."

The FTSE 100 was down 1.4% to 6,836.84, while in Paris, the CAC 40 was down 1.87% to 4888.22. In Frankfurt, the DAX was down 1.31% to 11,201.49.

TeleCity (TLEIY), a mid-cap data center provider that hosts servers for the likes of Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG) (GOOGL), swung this morning between a high of 1,116 pence, up 24% on last night's close, and a low of 1,061 pence. The FTSE 250 company said it received a cash-and-paper proposal from Redwood, Calif.-based data center operator Equinix (EQIX). The approach, at 1,145 pence per share, values TeleCity at around £2.3 billion ($3.5 billion), with about 54% in cash and 46% in Equinix shares.

Equinix said it believes a deal with TeleCity would offer better value for the target's shareholders than TeleCity's existing plans for an all-share deal for Dutch rival Interxion Holding (INXN), to create a company worth more than £3 billion. TeleCity would own 55% of the combination with Interxion, which is traded in New York. TeleCity is currently trading at 1,069 pence, up 18.84% from last night's close.

The biggest faller on London's main index this morning was Britain's no. 4 grocer, Wm Morrison Supermarkets (MRWSY), which is engaged in a vicious price war with the other big supermarkets as they battle for market share against the German discounters Aldi and Lidl. Morrison's like-for-like sales, excluding fuel, dropped 2.9% in the 13 weeks to May 3. But it's a big improvement on its performance in the same quarter last year, when sales fell 7.1%. Morrison was down 6.29% at 177.40 pence.

Britain's biggest defense company, BAE Systems (BAESY), fell 1.6% to 492.4 pence, despite saying that its underlying earnings per share are expected to be "marginally" higher in 2015 than in 2014. However, it said that the better outlook relied somewhat on anticipated naval and aircraft orders.

BT (BT), Britain's largest telephone company, fell 0.65% to 451.35 pence, although it reported strong full-year and quarterly numbers for pretax profits and earnings per share. The company is waiting for regulatory approval for its $19 billion acquisition of mobile network EE.

In Spain, oil company Repsol (REPYY) fell 3.55% to €17.78, after reporting stronger-than-expected profits for the first quarter and somewhat defying the falling oil price. The company reported adjusted net income of €928 million for the first three months, up from €532 million a year ago. It attributed the gain to the strong performance of its refining and chemicals businesses and the strength of the dollar against the euro.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed down 1.23%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.27% to 27,289.97. In China, the Shanghai Composite was down 2.77% at 4,112.21.

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