PUB company Mitchells & Butlers posted a solid set of full-year results last week, which has been followed by potential mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity as a group of major shareholders attempt to wrest control of the board.

It is still early days, but with last week’s results underpinning the share price, it is clear the major shareholders want control as they potentially see more value in the pub and restaurant chain than perhaps the board currently do. Either way the developments are highly likely to produce a positive outcome for investors. IG Markets is quoting a March spread of 251.4p-254.3p.

Another potential M&A target is drinks maker Britbvic and there are plenty of arguments in favour of snapping up this stock. It goes ex-dividend by 10.9p tomorrow, results are out of the way and the stock is trading just 5p shy of its yearly highs. There were rumours a while back of Pepsico bidding for it, so could we now see buying interest come back into the stock? ETX Capital is quoting 394.3p-396.5p.

The chocolate industry has also been alive with possible mergers or acquisitions as confectioner Cadbury has been the target of hostile bids from Kraft and is facing interest from Hershey. Underpinning all this has been the rising price of cocoa, with London Cocoa having surged by 34 per cent this year. The commodity hit new highs again yesterday, touching £2,206 per tonne – but can it keep rising further? Spreadex is currently quoting a London Cocoa December contract with a spread of £2,154-£2,160.

Another commodity that has staged an impressive rally has been gold. But last Friday it saw a shock 5 per cent fall in price suffering from knock-on effects of the Dubai crisis with credit fears sparking a mass sell-off of the precious metal as investors looked to raise cash to cover possible losses. So how could spread betters fare when looking at silver? Another precious metal, but with more industrial uses, silver recovered slightly to $18.52 before falling back to the $18.25 level so can it rally back to the 15-month high of $18.99 recorded on Monday last week? has a March-based spread of $18.23-$18.27.

Turbulence is once again giving British Airways’ share price a bumpy ride. Tomorrow’s traffic numbers might disappoint, making the stock ripe for a sell. Capital Spreads quotes 195.9p-197.0p.