Morrisons back in FTSE 100 thanks to bidding war

Morrisons has returned to the FTSE 100 after a six-month absence, having seen its valuation balloon over the last 10 weeks.

The Big 4 grocer dropped out of the index in March as shares slumped to 175p.

However, a takeover offer in June sparked a bidding war for the supermarket between two New York private equity suitors.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice made a 230p-a-share offer in June, before a consortium led by Majestic Wine-owner Fortress launched a 254p bid.

READ MORE: Think tank founder condemns ‘asset-stripping’ Morrisons bidders

After shareholder scepticism, the investment group raised this to 272p.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice then trumped the proposal with a 285p offer, bringing Morrisons’ valuation to around £7 billion.

Share price has consistently stayed ahead of the bids, with investors banking on future offers pushing the grocer’s price tag ever-higher.

Morrisons shares currently stand around the 290p mark.

Although it has rejoined Big 4 rivals Sainsbury’s and Tesco in the FTSE 100, their reunion could be short-lived if Morrisons is taken private.

Reports that Sainsbury’s was in the crosshairs of Apollo, a buyout firm linked to the Asda and Morrisons sales, caused shares to soar to 340p.

However, they took a sharp dip as an offer failed to materialise.

A Bernstein analyst recently claimed that the chances of a Sainsbury’s takeover were “relatively low”.

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