June 27 German industrial gas producer Linde AG
is the leading bidder for Lincare Holdings Inc
and could offer at least $3.4 billion for the U.S.
oxygen provider, the Financial Times Alphaville blog reported on
Wednesday quoting sources.
France's Air Liquide SA and an unnamed private
equity bidder may also be in the running for Lincare, the report
The blog named Rothschild and Lazard as advisers working on
The Alphaville story sent Lincare's shares up as much as 31
percent. It also sparked a flurry of call option trading on the
"Investors took positions in July and August call options on
hopes that the stock would see additional gains if the buyout
speculation is true," Frederic Ruffy, options strategist at
Option volume on Lincare was running 13.5 times the average
daily levels with 20,000 calls and 3,371 puts traded thus far on
Wednesday afternoon, according to options analytics firm Trade
Investors often turn to equity calls, or contracts that give
them the right to buy the company's shares at a fixed price by a
certain date, to speculate on share price appreciation.
Lincare was not immediately available for comment.
Shares of Lincare were trading up 20 percent at $30.27 on