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Morrison Supermarkets trades above latest $9.5 billion bid as private-equity battle continues

By Steve Goldstein

Wm Morrison Supermarkets traded above a new agreed offer, as the private-equity battle for the U.K. supermarket chain continues.

Morrisons shares rose 4.3% to 291.1 pence, after agreeing a 285 pence per share offer from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice that topped the 272 pence per share offer from SoftBank-backed Fortress.

The new GBP7 billion ($9.5 billion) offer is at a 60% premium to Morrisons' value in mid-June, before the bidding frenzy began. The Fortress-led consortium said it is considering its options. "With the shares currently trading above the new and improved offer price, the market clearly thinks a better offer is a distinct possibility," said Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

Also in the food retail space, Marks & Spencer rose 11% after hiking its full-year profit guidance. M&S said its adjusted profit before tax for the year will be above the upper end of previous guidance of GBP300 million to GBP350 million, and investors drew encouragement from the news that clothing and home business revenue surged 92% in the 19 weeks to Aug. 14, helped by online sales that are up 62% from pre-pandemic levels.

The FTSE 100 meanwhile slipped 0.3% to 7,039.27, in what has been a tough week for the U.K. stock market index, as it has lost 2.4% over the last five sessions.

-Steve Goldstein


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-20-21 0756ET

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