Morrisons’ shares surge in latest takeover twist

SHARES in supermarket giant Wm Morrison surged this morning as the City reacted to a fresh takeover approach for the ‘big four’ grocer.

The board of the Bradford-based grocer recommended that shareholders accept an offer led by Fortress Investment Group that values the chain at £6.3 billion in a statement on Saturday.

The offer values Morrisons, which has nearly 500 stores across the UK, at a 42 per cent premium to its closing share price of 178p on June 18. That came shortly before the grocer received and threw out a takeover approach from private equity player Clayton, Dubilier & Rice that valued it £5.5bn, or 230p per share.

Fortress, which has partnered with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Koch Real Estate Investments on the Morrisons approach, has offered 252p for each share plus a special dividend of 2p.

Shares in Morrisons were up by around 11 per cent at 266p this morning as the City responded to the latest development.

The fund management giant formerly known as Standard Life Aberdeen has confirmed today that its name change to abrdn, which it has emphasised is pronounced “Aberdeen”, has taken effect from 8am.

Chief executive Stephen Bird said he was “very excited to have reached this milestone”.

The name change has divided opinion.

Standard Life Aberdeen said: “Today marks a key milestone as the company delivers on its strategy. The new brand symbolises the transition underway to bring a clarity of focus, renewed sense of purpose and drive for sustainable growth for shareholders, clients and colleagues. Simplifying the business, coming together under one single brand is a key enabler to drive future growth.”

abrdn has also today announced a major new charity partnership with Hello World, which it noted is “a digital education charity that offers a practical, affordable and scalable solution to the global education deficit”.

The financial services giant noted that education is currently inaccessible to more than 258 million children and that in excess of 40% of the global population has no access to the internet.

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992