Yorkshire supermarket giant Morrisons agrees a £6.2bn takeover by American investor

Supermarket chain Morrisons has accepted a £6.3bn takeover bid by a US investment group led by the owner of Majestic Wines.

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 11:02 am

Last month, the supermarket group turned down an offer from a different firm, saying it had significantly undervalued the business.

Morrisons chairman, Andrew Higginson, said the new offer was fair, and the chain would "continue to prosper".

Morrisons has nearly 500 shops, including a number in Doncaster, and more than 110,000 staff in the UK.

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Takeover at Morrisons
Takeover at Morrisons

The deal is subject to shareholder approval but the supermarket group's directors are recommending it is unanimously voted for.

The takeover is led by US private equity group Fortress Investment Group.

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Under the terms of the deal shareholders will receive 254p per share - which Morrisons said was a 42 per cent premium on its share price before the offer period - brought about with the disclosure of the rejected offer.

The UK's fourth largest supermarket group turned down the bid worth £5.5bn from Clayton Dublier & Rice in June.

Mr Higginson said the supermarket's "performance through the pandemic" had improved its standing and enabled it to enter discussions with Fortress from "a hard-won position of strength".

He said it was clear to the supermarket's directors that Fortress had a "full understanding and appreciation of the fundamental character of Morrisons".

Joshua A Pack, managing partner at Fortress, said the group was committed to being "good stewards of Morrisons".

Fortress's bid is backed with funding by the Canada Pension Plan and Koch Real Estate Investments - part of Koch Industries.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.