Newcomer Morrisons becomes FTSE 100’s standout star

Morrisons has become the FTSE 100’s best performer despite entering the rankings just a month ago.

Shares have soared by 66 per cent since the start of the year thanks to a private equity bidding war.

They spiked in mid-June when buyout firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice made a 230p offer for the supermarket.

Bids from Majestic Wine-owner Fortress, plus anticipation of higher offers, caused shares to peak around 296p last month.

READ MORE: Morrisons takeover puts Leahy in line for top spot

Morrisons entered the FTSE 100 in its September reshuffle with Meggitt, the aerospace company which also looks set to be taken over.

The retailer dropped out of the table in March after sales failed to keep up with the “biblical cost” of its Covid precautions.

Its time at the top should be short-lived if, as expected, it is bought by CD&R.

The US firm grabbed the grocer at an auction last weekend for 287p-a-share, which failed to live up to investor expectations and prompted a sharp dip in share price.

Tesco and Sainsbury’s, also members of the FTSE 100, have seen their shares shoot up since last week amid speculation that they could be the next private equity targets.

Fortress and buyout rival Apollo, which was out-bid for Asda last year, are seen as possible buyers.

Asda is not a member of the FTSE 100 because it is privately owned by the Issa brothers, who operate it from a Jersey tax haven.

Last month, Bernstein analyst William Woods suggested that Tesco was a “more attractive” prospect than Sainsbury’s for a private equity takeover.

However, he noted that its loss-making bank and pension deficit could puncture investor interest.

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