January 29, 2023

Britain’s Morrisons have agreed to a $ 7.7 billion offer from a castle – led group

A Morrisons store is pictured on September 10, 2020 in St Albans, UK. REUTERS / Peter Cziborra // File photo

  • The Fortress-led team offers 254 Benz shares
  • CD & R Proposal 230 Benz
  • Some investors want 270 pence
  • Morrisons says the castle will be the appropriate owner
  • Fort says it is the ‘good secretary’

London, July 3 (Reuters) – Softbank-led Morrisons has agreed to a takeover. (9984.T) Britain’s fourth largest supermarket chain is valued at 6. 6.3 billion ($ 8.7 billion) and tops a competition plan from a US private equity firm.

The Castle offer, along with Canada’s Retirement Plan Investment Board and Koch Real Estate Investments, violates the கோ 5.52 billion unsolicited plan from Clayton, Doubler & Rice (CD & R). (MRWL) Rejected June 19. read more

Morrisons offers a fortune of 3. 9.5 billion to the Fort Prize Group, including கடன் 3.2 billion in net debt.

“We look very closely at the castle’s approach, their plans for the business and their overall suitability as the owner of a unique British food maker and shopkeeper with over 110,000 colleagues, and a key role in British food production and agriculture,” said Morrisons chairman Andrew Hickinson.

“It is clear to us that the castle has a full understanding and appreciation of the fundamental nature of Morrisons.”

The Fortress Agreement underscores the growing appetite for private funds for British supermarket groups, which are considered attractive due to their monetary creation and freehold assets.

Fortress, an independent subsidiary of Japan’s Softbank Group Corp., is the global investment manager and has about $ 53 billion in assets under management as of March. It was purchased in 2019 by British winemaker Majestic Wine.

“We are committed to providing excellent service to Morrisons’ partner groups and the wider British public over the long term,” said Joshua A. Schmidt, Managing Director. Pack said.

Fortress wants to retain Morrisons’ current management team, led by CEO David Pots, and implement the current strategy. It said it did not plan any merchandise sales and lease transactions.


Under the terms of this agreement, the Morrisons Board will recommend to shareholders that investors receive a share of 254 pence, including 252 pence cash and 2 pence special cash dividends. The CD & R proposal is worth 5. 5.02 billion a share of 230 pence.

JO Humphroy, Morrisons’ top ten shareholder, said last week that any lawyer for the group would have to pay about 270 pence shares, or .5 6.5 billion. read more

Morrisons, based in Bradford, North England, started an egg and butter merchant in 1899. It now only follows Tesco, the market leader (TSCO.L), Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) And Asta on annual sales.

Morrisons owns 85% of its nearly 500 stores and 19 mostly freehold production sites. More than half of the fresh food it sells in British supermarkets.

It said the Fortress offer on June 18, the day before the CD&R proposal, represented a 42% premium to its final share price of 178 pence. The stock closed at 243 pence on Friday.

Morrison directors, who hold 0.23% of the group’s shares, will earn 14 14.3 million from the sale of their shares to the castle.

CD & R, with no definite offer to return with a firm offer until July 17 under British acquisition rules.

Morrisons has a joint venture agreement with Amazon (AMZN.O) There is speculation that it may also emerge as a potential bidder.

Five projects

Morrisons said an initial unsolicited plan was received from the castle on May 4 for a share of 220 pence. This offer has not been made public. The fort put forward four successive plans before issuing a total of 254 shares on June 5th.

In February, Juber and Mohsin Isa and private equity firm DTR Capital bought a majority stake in Asta from Walmart. (WMT.N). The deal is worth Asta 6.8 billion. read more

The deal follows Sainsbury’s failure to capture Asta after the deal was struck down by Britain’s competition regulator in 2019.

In April, Czech billionaire Daniel Kredinsky increased his stake in Sainsbury’s to almost 10%, sparking auction speculation.

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($ 1 = 7 0.7235)

James Davy Report; Editing by Jane Merriman

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