The fate of Morrisons will be settled by next month when a £7bn bidding war for the supermarkets group is likely to be resolved by a head-to-head auction (The Times £). The takeover battle for Morrisons is due to be settled in a highly unusual head-to-head auction which the supermarket’s bosses hope will lift bidding beyond £7bn (The Telegraph). The takeover battle for Morrisons will be decided by an auction process after neither of the two suitors for the UK’s fourth-largest grocer declared their offers final (The Financial Times £). The battle for Morrisons is set to be decided in a head-to-head auction between two private equity bidders (The Daily Mail). The takeover battle for Morrisons is on course to go to auction in the coming weeks after a bidding war failed to settle its future ownership (Sky News). Morrisons has announced it is in talks with both of its US private equity suitors, as well as the UK’s Takeover Panel, which regulates acquisition activity, to begin an auction procedure to settle who takes control of the country’s fourth largest supermarket chain (The Guardian).

B&M European Value Retail, one of the retail sector’s acknowledged “pandemic winners”, sprang a welcome surprise on the stock market yesterday when it published a trading update flagging a first-half profit well above previous forecasts (The Times £). The chain, which has over 600 stores in the UK selling everything from wallpaper to vacuum cleaners, said profit margins had been stronger than originally predicted, thanks partially to lower levels of discounting, while sales were broadly in line with expectations (The Daily Mail).

Workers at two Weetabix plants are to stage strike action later this month in a dispute over contracts, trade union Unite said. The union said the strike would cause “widespread delays to production and lead to shortages of Weetabix and other popular products made at the factories including Alpen, Weetos and Oatibix”. (Sky News)

The biggest supplier of supermarket ready meals expects to hit full-year profit forecasts despite “unprecedented challenges in labour availability” (The Times £). Bakkavor, which supplies salads and ready meals to all the UK’s major supermarkets, said in its half-year results statement that it was facing “a unique set of challenges in labour availability” (The Financial Times £)

The government is to streamline HGV driver testing in an attempt to prevent a supply chain crisis at Christmas (Sky News). The government is expected to announce a shake-up of the HGV driver testing process as soon as Thursday (The BBC).

M&S scrapped the St Michael label from products ranging from socks to sausages in 2000 in an effort to resuscitate its fortunes. Now, after a 21-year absence, a preview of the chain’s latest ranges has revealed that the St Michael’s brand has reappeared (The Times £). Marks & Spencer is reviving the St Michael brand after a 21-year absence, as vintage clothes find a new audience in younger generations (The Telegraph).

Marks & Spencer’s showcase of new autumn looks is both a back-to-school moment in the British fashion industry calendar and a bellwether of which catwalk trends will successfully translate to the mass market. (The Guardian)