U.K. Grocer Morrisons Accepts Bid From CD&R

In the hottest twist in  a takeover battle about Britain’s fourth-premier grocery chain, Morrisons has agreed to be offered to U.S. non-public fairness company Clayton Dubilier & Rice for about $nine.five billion (6.97 pound sterling).

CD&R’s give, worth 285 pence for every share, topped a 272 pence for every share bid from rival non-public fairness team Fortress Investment decision Group that Morrisons experienced suggested to its shareholders earlier this thirty day period.

“The Morrisons board thinks that the give from CD&R represents great benefit for shareholders while at the same time defending the essential character of Morrisons for all stakeholders,” Morrisons Chair Andrew Higginson said Thursday.

“CD&R have a solid file of developing, strengthening and developing the enterprises that they invest in and they share our eyesight for Morrisons’ potential,” he extra.

But Morrisons’ shares shut on Thursday at 279.two pence, indicating investors predicted a bigger give. Fortress said it was “considering its options” and urged Morrisons shareholders to acquire no action.

Morrisons, which started out out as an egg and butter merchant in 1899, is the U.K.’s No. 4 grocer immediately after Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda. Its property include things like 339 filling stations, which would complement the 918 that CD&R currently owns via its Motor Gasoline Group.

The bidding war about Morrisons began in June when CD&R presented 230 pence for every share, or five.five billion lbs. Fortress countered with a bid for 254 pence for every share, or 6.3 billion lbs in July, and sweetened its give to 6.seven billion lbs two months ago.

Sir Terry Leahy, the previous Tesco main government, is a single of CD&R’s senior advisers and worked along with Higginson and David Potts, the Morrisons main government, for the duration of his lengthy reign at Tesco.

“CD&R is delighted to have the chance to assist the management of Morrisons in executing their tactic to mature and establish the small business,” he said Thursday. “The grocery sector in the U.K. is undergoing terrific adjust and we think Morrisons is very well positioned, with CD&R’s assist, to do well in this environment.”

CD&R’s agreed bid represents a sixty% quality to Morrisons’ share value in advance of takeover desire emerged in mid-June.

Photograph by Christopher Furlong/Getty Photos
Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Fortress Investment decision Group, grocery, Morrisons, takeover bid