Morrisons shares rise on takeover chatter

Shopping trolleys are seen at a Morrisons supermarket in London January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) – WM Morrisons (MRW.L) shares jumped on Tuesday as traders cited market rumors that the UK supermarket chain could be subject to a takeover approach by U.S. online retail giant Inc (AMZN.O).

They rose as much as 2.9 percent in midday trade and were up 1.9 percent by 1334 GMT, outperforming their UK peers. The FTSE 100 .FTSE was up 1.8 percent.

Chatter about the rumor was mentioned on the Financial Times’ Alphaville markets chatroom.

The chatroom moderator said: “There’s a mad story going round the traps about Amazon going for Morrison … Looks to me like wild speculation, but stranger things I guess…”

The supermarket chain has struck wholesale supply deals with Amazon and is widely seen as a potential takeover target for the U.S. company as it moves into bricks-and-mortar retailing after its takeover of Whole Foods.

A spokesman for Morrisons said the company does not comment on speculation about transactions.

Reporting by Helen Reid, additional reporting by Paul Sandl; Editing by Josephine Mason

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