• Sir Ken Morrison builds £6m stake in Sainsbury’s
  • Former Morrisons chairman owns 2.6 million shares
  • His son William holds 2.1 million shares – taking their combined stake to £11.9m

Former Morrisons chairman Sir Ken Morrison has built up a £6m stake in the supermarket giant’s big four rival Sainsbury’s, it has emerged.

Morrison owns 2.6 million shares in the grocer, while his son William holds 2.1 million shares. It means the duo’s combined stake totals £11.9m.

Filings suggest Morrison, who holds the honorary post of life president at Morrisons, acquired his Sainsbury’s shares in April last year, when they were trading around the 300p mark. They closed at 255p on Friday.

Sainsbury’s has out-performed its big four competitors for three consecutive months, according to Kantar data.

In the 12 weeks ended December 6, Sainsbury’s sales were up 1.2% while its market share advanced from 16.5% to 16.7%.

Tesco and Asda both suffered sales declines of 3.4% during the same period, while Morrisons’ sales dipped 2% as it felt the impact of offloading its M Local convenience store business.

But the retailer has dipped its toe back into the fast-growing convenience market after opening the first of its petrol filling station forecourt stores in Crewe. Morrisons is testing five of the ‘Daily’ stores across the UK, with a view to a wider roll-out. 

The share price fluctuations of Sainsbury’s and Morrisons this year have reflected their contrasting performance. Sainsbury’s share price is up 3.5% year to date, while Morrisons has slumped 19.3% in 2015.

Earlier this month the London Stock Exchange revealed that Morrisons had fallen out of the FTSE 100 for the first time in 14 years as a result of its plummeting share price.

The grocer has struggled to win back shoppers from discount duo Aldi and Lidl amid a challenging market of food price deflation and changing consumer habits.