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London stocks set to rise as Morrisons accepts £6.3bn bid


The UK firm on Monday confirmed it had recommended a £6.3bn offer from US investment fund Fortress

London stocks were set to rise at the open on Monday, boosted by M&A news, although the session could be quieter as Wall Street is closed for observance of Independence Day.

The FTSE 100 was called to open 12 points higher at 7,135.

Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Trade, said: European futures are trading higher on the first trading of the week. Trading volume in the market is expected to remain on the low side as the US stock market is closed for a public holiday.

Investors in Europe are likely to pay more attention to the ongoing trend in the equity market which has been very much to the upside. For instance, the S&P 500 is on its longest winning streak since August, with gains in seven consecutive trading sessions, he said.

On the data front, Markit’s services PMI for June is at 0930 BST.

In corporate news, US buyout firm Apollo Global Management said it was considering entering the race for UK supermarket chain Morrisons after rival Fortress tabled a £3.6bn recommended bid on the weekend.

Apollo confirmed weekend reports that it was in the preliminary stages of evaluating a possible offer for Morrisons.

No approach has been made to the board of Morrisons, Apollo said. There can be no certainty that any offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any such offer might be made, it added.

The UK firm on Monday confirmed it had recommended a £6.3bn offer from US investment fund Fortress, the owner of Majestic Wine. Morrisons has already rejected a bid from yet another US buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

It’s clear to us that Fortress has a full understanding and appreciation of the fundamental character of Morrisons. This, together with the very clear intentions they have set out today, has given the Morrisons directors confidence that Fortress will support and accelerate our plans to develop and strengthen Morrisons further, said Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson.

He said: The Morrisons directors believe that the offer represents a fair and recommendable price for shareholders which recognises Morrisons’ future prospects.

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