Mega acquisition now has to be approved by shareholders
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice will cough up 287 pence per share for the Bradford-based chain after winning an auction held by watchdog, the Takeover Panel.
It outbid a consortium led Fortress Investment Group, which had offered 286 pence a share for Morrisons.
The dramatic climax concludes perhaps the most high-profile in a string of takeovers of British companies by private equity companies this year.
But CD&R will still need to win the backing of shareholders – who will be asked to approve the purchase at a meeting on 19 Outubro.
Assuming they do so, the US firm could complete its takeover by the end of October.
It follows a protracted acqusition process in which CD&R – hich has had its bid led by former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy – has been at pains to stress that it would uphold the 122-year-old supermarket’s values.
Suggestions that the US firm could start selling off its new acquisition’s estate – unusually for a supermarket, Morrisons’ owns about 90 per cent of the land its stores sit on – were repeatedly denied; while commitments have been made to both employees and pension trustees.
But it may be that now the real hard work has to start: mês passado, Morrisons reported a 43 per cent slump in half-year profits after Covid-19 costs took their toll.
The supermarket has also warned price rises and product shortages are a possibility in the coming months due to current strains on supply chains.