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Morrisons set to enter FTSE 100 as M&A interest boost shares

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FILE PHOTO: A view of a Morrisons supermarket in Birtley
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LONDON (Reuters) - British supermarket Morrisons is set to enter the FTSE 100 index, Britain's blue chip benchmark, after its share price surged over 60% since receiving an offer from private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) in June.

Index manager FTSE Russell placed Morrisons on its "indicative FTSE 100 Additions" list on Aug. 24 and said it would make a final announcement on Wednesday Sept. 1 based on the data collected at the close on Aug. 31.

Morrisons, at the heart of a $9.5 billion bidding war between U.S.-based CD&R and a consortium led by SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group, is now valued at about 7 billion pounds ($9.6 bln).

Its membership in the index could prove short-lived with the bidders set to take the supermarket chain private.

Currently a member of the midcap index FTSE 250, Morrisons' market capitalisation now dwarfs several members of the FTSE 100, such as British broadcaster ITV and engineering specialist Weir Group, worth 4.6 and 4.3 billion pounds respectively.

Both companies are set to be expelled from the FTSE 100 blue-chip index along with Just Eat Takeaway.com.

The food delivery's "nationality has been reassigned from the UK to the Netherlands, making the company ineligible for the FTSE UK Index Series", Index manager FTSE Russell explained in a statement.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals and British engineering group Meggitt which is at the centre of a takeover battle, are both set to enter the FTSE 100 index, FTSE Russell said.

(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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