Morrisons shares spike on rumour of buyout

Published on: 12th February 2014

Shares in supermarket chain Morrisons have spiked more than 5% on rumours the founding family is preparing to take the firm private.Morrisons-store300

According to Bloomberg, private equity firms including CVC Capital Partners and the Carlyle Group have been approached to gauge their interest in a buyout, which would be valued at more than £7b. The family owns just under 10% of the company’s stock.

The shares in Britain’s number four supermarket group eased slightly after the initial surge. The excitement has also boosted stock for the sector’s leader, Tesco, and third largest group, Sainsbury’s.

In January, shares in Morrisons slumped after a shock 5.6% sales tumble over the crucial Christmas trading period. The supermarket admitted the Christmas period had been “very challenging”. Chief executive Dalton Philips added: “In a very tough market our sales performance over Christmas was disappointing.”

Morrisons has been a late entrant into the online and metro convenience store sectors, both of which have proved important to key competitors.

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