ON THE UP: Asda

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The Independent Online
SHARES in Asda, the supermarket group soared 35 per cent last week as Kingfisher said it was in talks to buy it for about pounds 6bn to create a retailer involved in everything from food to home improvement.

Kingfisher's stock-swap offer is worth about 198p a share, a premium of 12.2 per cent above Asda's closing share price the day before the announcement. The companies said they expect the result to be a merged business 66.33 per cent-owned by Kingfisher and 33.67 per cent-owned by Asda. The talks follow a failed effort to link up last May. Increasing competition in mature UK markets and slowing consumer spending is forcing many retailers to consider mergers or takeovers to grow profit.

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