Private equity firm mulls cash offer for Morrisons

Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is considering a possible cash offer for Morrisons, it said on Saturday.

CD&R “notes the press speculation regarding a potential transaction involving Morrisons and confirms that it is considering a possible cash offer for the issued and to be issued share capital of Morrisons,” it said in a statement.

It said there was no certainty an offer would be made.

CD&R’s statement followed a Sky News report that it had made a preliminary bid approach to the supermarket group’s board that could value Morrisons at £5.5bn.

Bradford-based Morrisons is Britain’s fourth-largest grocer by sales, trailing market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.

Shares in Morrisons, down 3% over the last year, closed on Friday at 182p, valuing the group at £4.33bn.

A bid for Morrisons would follow Walmart’s recent sale of a majority stake in Asda to the Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital.

That deal valued Asda at £6.8bn and followed Sainsbury’s failure to takeover Asda after an agreed deal was blocked by Britain’s competition regulator in 2019.

Morrisons has a partnership agreement with Amazon and there has been persistent speculation that it could emerge as a possible bidder.


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