Morrisons agrees £6.3bn takeover from Fortress Investment Group

A customer wearing a protective face mask shops at a Morrisons store in St Albans
A customer wearing a protective face mask shops at a Morrisons store in St Albans

The deal comes after Morrisons rejected a takeover proposal from New York-based firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice last month

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Morrisons supermarket has agreed to a £6.3 billion takeover bid from a consortium of investment groups.

Softbank-owned Fortress, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Koch Real Estate Investments will pay 252p per share plus a 2p special dividend.

The deal comes after Morrisons rejected a takeover proposal from New York-based firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) last month.

The offer is subject to shareholder approval.

Andrew Higginson, chairman of Morrisons, said: “The Morrisons directors believe that the offer represents a fair and recommendable price for shareholders which recognises Morrisons’ future prospects.

Morrisons previously rejected a takeover proposal from New York-based firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Morrisons previously rejected a takeover proposal from New York-based firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

“Morrisons is an outstanding business and our performance through the pandemic has further improved our standing and enabled us to enter the discussions with Fortress from a hard-won position of strength.

“We have looked very carefully at Fortress’ approach, their plans for the business and their overall suitability as an owner of a unique British food-maker and shopkeeper with over 110,000 colleagues and an important role in British food production and farming.

“It’s clear to us that Fortress has a full understanding and appreciation of the fundamental character of Morrisons.

Morrisons supermarket has agreed to a 6.3 billion takeover bid from a consortium of investment groups
Morrisons supermarket has agreed to a 6.3 billion takeover bid from a consortium of investment groups

“This, together with the very clear intentions they have set out today, has given the Morrisons directors confidence that Fortress will support and accelerate our plans to develop and strengthen Morrisons further.”

Joshua A Pack, managing partner of Fortress, said: “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.

“We fully recognise Morrisons’ rich history and the very important role Morrisons plays for colleagues, customers, members of the Morrisons pension schemes, local communities, partner suppliers and farmers.

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