BUSINESS LIVE: National Grid to raise £7bn; Hargreaves Lansdown rejects takeover bid; Nationwide hands members £385m

The FTSE 100 will open at 8am. Among the companies with reports and trading updates today are National Grid, Hargreaves Lansdown, Nationwide, Aviva, Rolls-Royce and Wizz Air. Read the Thursday 23 May Business Live blog below.

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Nationwide reveals £100 Fairer Share bonus for customers again – will you qualify for June’s payout?

Nationwide Building Society has announced it will pay out another ‘Fairer Share’ bonus this year.

Members will receive the payment directly into current accounts in June.

It comes as the mutual giant said its pre-tax profit was £1.77billon in the year to April, down from £2.2billion last year.

Hargreaves Lansdown rejects £4.7bn takeover offer as investment platform says private equity-led bid ‘substantially undervalues’ the group

Britain’s biggest investment platform has become the latest London-listed company to be targeted by foreign bidders.

After the market closed last night, Hargreaves Lansdown said it had received two approaches from a consortium of buyers regarding a possible takeover.

The latest offer – worth 985p a share or £4.67billion – was unanimously rejected by the board ‘on the basis it substantially undervalues Hargreaves Lansdown and its future prospects’.

National Grid to raise £7bn

National Grid is hoping to raise £7billion to invest in energy network infrastructure, via a fully underwritten rights issue of 1.09 billion new shares.

The capital raise is by way of a fully underwritten rights issue at 645p per share on the basis of seven new shares for every 24 existing shares, the company said.

The rights issue will help fund National Grid’s significant capital investment of about £60billion in energy network infrastructure.

Boss John Pettigrew said the move is reflective of the company ‘cementing our position as a leader in the energy transition in the UK and US northeast’.

He added: ‘On both sides of the Atlantic, governments and regulators are moving with increased urgency to attract the levels of investment required to meet their decarbonisation targets.

‘As economies become increasingly digital, electrified and decarbonised, the need for energy infrastructure has rarely been more pressing. Our investment will unlock significant economic growth and, by the end of the decade, National Grid is expected to support over 60,000 more jobs, while also decarbonising our energy systems, bolstering security of supply, and reducing consumer bills in the long term.

‘Our strong track record of infrastructure delivery, positive engagement with our regulators and wider stakeholders, alongside clarity on the scale and profile of our capital investment positions National Grid to take advantage of the significant growth opportunities we see ahead.’