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

United States

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, +11.38% 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, +2.75% and J Sainsbury SBRY, +2.02% also rose.

Électricité de France EDF, -2.68% 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, +0.06% slipped 0.2%. U.S. stock futures ES00, -0.04% NQ00, -0.09%, 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.