Morrisons bidding war may not be over

Morrisons bidding war may not be over

Supermarket chain Morrisons has accepted a £6.3 billion takeover offer from a US investment group even as another potential buyer shows interest.

The latest takeover bid is led by US-based Fortress Investment Group, owner of Majestic Wine, along with CPP Investments and KREI, which is part of Koch Industries.

Last month Morrisons rejected an offer from private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, saying the £5.5 billion bid was too low.

Another private equity group, Apollo, has now reportedly issued a statement saying it is in “the preliminary stages of evaluating a possible offer for Morrisons” but stressed there was no certainty that an offer would be made.

Morrisons’ chairman Andrew Higginson said the offer from Fortress represented a “fair and recommendable” price for shareholders that recognised the chain’s future prospects. He added that Fortress had a “full understanding and appreciation of the fundamental character of Morrisons” and that the directors had confidence Fortress would support and accelerate Morrisons’ development plans.

Joshua A Pack, managing partner of Fortress, stated: “We believe in making long-term investments focused on providing strong management teams with the necessary flexibility and support to execute their strategy in a sustainable and value enhancing manner.

He added: “We are committed to being good stewards of Morrisons to best serve its stakeholder groups, and the wider British public, for the long term.”

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