Aug 19, 2021

Private equity firm CD&R raises bid in battle for Morrisons

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has increased its offer for Wm Morrison to 285p per share, in the latest round of a protracted bidding war for the UK's fourth-largest supermarket group that highlights the appeal of British companies to private equity firms. The offer is a substantial increase from the previous 230p approach that Morrisons rejected as inadequate and has secured a recommendation from Morrisons' directors. Rew Higginson, Morrisons' chair and a colleague of Leahy during his spell at the helm of Tesco, said the CD&R offer "Represents good value for shareholders while at the same time protecting the fundamental character of Morrisons for all stakeholders". The price represents a 60 per cent premium to the last closing price of Morrisons' shares before the original CD&R bid was revealed. Morrisons' board first recommended a 252p-a-share bid from Fortress last month, but Fortress pre-emptively raised it weeks later in a move designed to derail CD&R and respond to shareholders who had indicated they would not accept its earlier bid.

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