Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LSE:MRW) (LSE:MRW) confirmed that it has agreed an improved offer worth 285p per share in cash from US private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, valuing the grocer at GBP7bn.
CD&R’s offer trumps the GBP6.7bn offer from rival bidder Fortress. Morrisons said it has now dropped its backing for the Fortress bid.
In a separate statement, Fortress said it was considering its options and urged Morrisons shareholders to take no action on the CD&R bid.
The CD&R offer is at a premium of 60% to the closing price of Morrisons shares on 18 June, the day before it received the first takeover bid from CD&R.
“The Morrisons board believes that the offer from CD&R represents good value for shareholders while at the same time protecting the fundamental character of Morrisons for all stakeholders,”said Morrisons chair Andrew Higginson.
Former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, who is a senior adviser to CD&R, said “The grocery sector in the UK is undergoing great change and we believe Morrisons is well placed, with CD&R’s support, to succeed in this environment. CD&R values Morrisons’ distinctive business model and is committed to supporting it, including the successful ESG and broader stakeholder engagement strategies of the company that are essential to its continued success.”
Morrisons shares closed at 279p yesterday.