Friday, October 22, 2021

Morrisons to be acquired in £7.1bn deal following auction

Morrisons is to be acquired by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) after winning an auction with a £7.1 billion offer.

Outbidding Fortress Investment Group, CD&R offered 278p in cash per Morrisons share during the auction held on Saturday 2 October.

CD&R’s winning bid was 2p above the firm’s existing offer, which was recommended in August.

The final offer represents a 61% premium on Morrisons’ share price before takeover interest publicly emerged nearly four months ago.

In June, Morrisons rejected a buy-out offer from CD&R saying the £5.5 billion deal “significantly undervalued” the business.

“Today’s final offer from CD&R represents excellent value for shareholders while at the same time protecting the fundamental character of Morrisons for all stakeholders,” said Morrison’s Chairman Andrew Higginson.

“CD&R have good retail experience, a strong record of developing and growing the businesses in which they invest, and they share our vision and ambition for Morrisons.

“We remain confident that CD&R will be a responsible, thoughtful and careful owner of an important British grocery business.”

He added: “Shareholders will now have the final say and, if the offer is approved, the board is confident that Morrisons will continue to go from strength to strength under CD&R’s ownership.”

Morrisons’ shareholders will vote on the final offer on 19 October.

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