Morrisons agrees £6.3bn takeover
The takeover is being led by US firm Fortress Investment Group. The all-cash offer is subject to shareholder approval.
Morrisons said the offer value represented a 42 per cent premium on its share price before the offer period.
Fortress, a subsidiary of SoftBank Group, has invested in grocery retail in both North America and Europe, including an investment in Majestic Wine in the UK.
The firm said it intends for Morrisons to continue to operate as a standalone business and it will continue to support the supermarket’s current strategy of targeting new store openings.
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 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.”
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.”