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Aug 2, 2021
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Private equity firm CD&R prepares Morrisons counter-bid - report

Aug 2, 2021

Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is poised to start a bidding war for British supermarket chain Morrisons, the target of a £6.3 billion ($8.8 billion) offer from a group led by another U.S. buyout firm, Fortress, the Sunday Times reported.

Photo: Reuters

Morrisons is the fourth largest UK supermarket chain and is also active in the clothing sector via the Nutmeg brand that's sold in its stores. Supermarket takeovers are increasingly relevant to the fashion sector (and to beauty too) as the top four are among the biggest clothing and beautycare sellers in the UK.

The newspaper said CD&R was understood to have been preparing equity and debt financing for a counter-bid which could come in the next few days.

If successful, CD&R would open Morrisons convenience stores at fuel stations operated by Motor Fuel Group, which the firm owns, and it would work alongside the existing Morrisons management team, the Sunday Times said. A spokesman for CD&R declined to comment on the report.

Earlier this week, British money manager M&G joined criticism of the Fortress-led bid that Morrisons has agreed to, for which the £6.3 billion bid topped a rival offer from Apollo.

Morrisons' largest shareholder Silchester has also said it is not inclined to support the offer for Britain's fourth-largest supermarket chain. Schroders Plc is also an investor in Morrisons. SoftBank Group Corp controls Fortress.

Additional reporting by Sandra Halliday

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