Private-equity battle shapes up for number-four U.K. supermarket chain

A private-equity battle for a U.K. supermarket chain highlighted an otherwise quiet day in European stocks on Monday, with the key U.S. market shut for a holiday.

Wm Morrison Supermarkets
MRW,
+11.22%

rose 11% to 267 pence after Apollo Global Management said it was considering a counterbid for the U.K. chain, following an agreed £6.3 billion ($8.7 billion), or 254 pence per share, bid from a consortium led by Fortress Investment Group. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice previously made an offer for the country’s number-four supermarket chain.

Rival U.K. food retailers including Marks & Spencer
MKS,
+2.92%

and J Sainsbury
SBRY,
+1.95%

also rose.

Électricité de France
EDF,
-3.14%

shares slumped, after France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said it would be difficult for the country to agree to the European Commission’s requests on a reorganization of the power generator.

Broader markets drifted lower with U.S. markets closed for the Independence Day holiday. The Stoxx Europe 600
SXXP,
-0.04%

slipped 0.2%. U.S. stock futures
ES00,
-0.07%

NQ00,
-0.10%
,
which are trading electronically, also edged lower.

The S&P 500
SPX,
+0.75%

ended nearly 2% higher last week, and settled at a record high for the 36th time of the year following news that the U.S. economy added 850,000 jobs but the unemployment rate ticked higher.

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