M&S shares soar on bid speculation

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The Independent Online
MARKS & SPENCER, the troubled high street retailer, saw its value increase by more than pounds 1bn on the stock market yesterday after a wave of trading in the City fuelled by rumours of a takeover bid.

Almost 100 million shares changed hands yesterday amid rumours that the supermarket giant Tesco was plotting a take-over. Others said that Archie Norman, the former Asda chief executive, may lead a bid.

M&S has seemed vulnerable to a bid after almost a year of relentless bad news. Yesterday, however, its shares jumped 37p to 300p, sending the value of the group to pounds 8.6bn. M&S said it had no idea what had prompted the rise.

Mark Charnock, a retail analyst at the stockbroker CCF Charterhouse, said: "Obviously people think there's a bid imminent. Things have got worse at M&S ... and people are bound to say it looks vulnerable."

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