• Sunday, June 26, 2022

Business

CD&R gets more time to make counter bid for Morrisons

With a staff of 118,000, Morrisons is one of the United Kingdom’s biggest private sector employers. (Photo by: REUTERS/Peter Cziborra)

By: Shilpa Sharma

THE UK takeover panel has extended the deadline for Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) till August 20 to consider a counter takeover bid for the supermarket group Morrisons.

CD&R had time until 5pm on August 9 to make an offer or walk away, but the US private equity firm sought more time after its rival bidder, SoftBank-owned Fortress, increased its bid to £6.7 billion on Friday (6).

On Friday (6), Morrisons also adjourned its shareholder meet to vote on the Fortress offer from August 16 to August 27.

Fortress has offered 270 pence per Morrisons share plus a 2 pence a share special dividend and said it “remains committed to becoming the new owner of Morrisons.”

On June 17, Morrisons rejected a 230 pence a share proposal worth £5.52bn from CD&R, which has former Tesco boss Terry Leahy as a senior adviser.

Later on July 3, the supermarket group had agreed to Fortress’ 254 pence a share offer worth £6.3bn, but its major investors Silchester, M&G and JO Hambro said the offer was too low.

J O Hambro had said that CD&R must raise the bid amount for takeover to succeed.

For the Fortress’ latest offer to pass it needs the support of shareholders representing at least 75 per cent in value of voting investors at the meeting on August 27.

Besides, the Fortress consortium has given assurances that it would retain Morrisons’ Bradford, northern England, headquarters and its existing management team led by Chief Executive David Potts and execute its existing strategy.

The Fortress consortium includes Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Koch Real Estate Investments and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.

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