Morrisons £7bn takeover battle to be settled by auction
The battle to take over Morrisons will be decided in a one-day auction on Saturday.
US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is vying with Fortress Investment Group, a vehicle backed by Japan’s Softbank conglomerate, for control of Britain’s fourth-biggest grocer. They have agreed to settle the matter with the auction process on Saturday running for a maximum of five rounds.
CD&R started its pursuit of Morrisons in June, while Fortress entered the fray in July. With neither bid for the business declared “final”, Morrisons revealed earlier this month that it was on course to go to an auction – and details of the process have now been confirmed by the UK Takeover Panel.
Morrisons is required to make its own announcement by no later than 7am on October 5, setting out the board’s view of the offers on the table and its intended recommendation to shareholders.
Morrisons was founded in 1899 by Bradford egg and butter merchant William Morrison. It was built up from a collection of market stalls to be a major player in the North by Sir Ken Morrison after he took charge of the company in the 1950s, floating on the Stock Exchange in 1967. The company became a truly national player when it bought most of the Safeway chain in 2004, and now has 500+ stores serving 11m people each week.
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