Morrisons agrees £6.3 billion takeover bid from group led by Fortress
The Morrisons supermarket chain has agreed to a takeover offer from the US investment firm that controls Majestic Wine.
The £6.3 billion bid is significantly more than the $5.5 billion takeover proposal from private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice that Morrisons rejected last month.
The deal has been agreed with a group comprising Fortress Investment Group, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Koch Real Estate Investments.
Under the terms, Morrisons shareholders will receive 254 pence per share
Andrew Higginson, chairman of Morrisons, said: “The Morrisons directors believe that the offer represents a fair and recommendable price for shareholders which recognises Morrisons’ future prospects. Morrisons is an outstanding business and our performance through the pandemic has further improved our standing and enabled us to enter the discussions with Fortress from a hard-won position of strength. We have looked very carefully at Fortress’ approach, their plans for the business and their overall suitability as an owner of a unique British food-maker and shopkeeper with over 110,000 colleagues and an important role in British food production and farming.”
In a statement, Morrisons said Fortress will continue to operate the supermarket as standalone business, with its head office and head office functions remaining in Bradford, led by the Morrisons management team. It will also support Morrisons in executing its existing strategy.
In addition, Fortress will engage with Morrisons management team on its long-term plans for managing the store estate, but does not anticipate there being any material store sale and leaseback transactions.
Higginson added: “It’s clear to us that Fortress has a full understanding and appreciation of the fundamental character of Morrisons. This, together with the very clear intentions they have set out today, has given the Morrisons directors confidence that Fortress will support and accelerate our plans to develop and strengthen Morrisons further.
“Fortress, CPP Investments and KREI all have strong track records and a long-term approach to investing. They are backing our strategy, our management and our people. Morrisons has a rich history and a special culture and I am convinced that with the long term support of Fortress, the business will continue to prosper in the future.”
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