CD&R Private Joint Stock Group with a bid to acquire Morrisons UK

Private equity group Clayton, Dubilier & Rice have offered to acquire the Wm Morrison supermarket chain in a deal that would make the case, according to Britain’s fourth-largest grocery business, private, according to two people with direct knowledge of the issue.

One of these people said that the Morrison Council, with a market value of ,3 4.3 billion և 3.2 billion in net debt, met on Saturday to discuss the merits of the approach. The company declined to comment.

CD&R is working with Goldman Sachs on its bid, another person added. An announcement clarifying his intentions may be published later on Saturday.

The exact cost of the offer was not immediately known, but Sky News reported that CD&R weighed in on Morrisons’ offer, which the company would estimate at around ,5 5.5 billion. CD & R and Morrisons declined to comment.

The approach underscores the growing appetite of private equity for UK assets, particularly supermarket chains.

Buyout groups have applied for at least 12 UK-listed companies since the beginning of this year as the Brexit և epidemic weighs on stock prices. This is the fastest rate of private experimentation in more than two decades, according to Refinitiv figures.

The CD&R approach comes as competition regulators cleared a 6. 6.8 billion deal this week for billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa և TDR Capital, owners of EG Group gas station retailers, to buy Asdaup, the UK’s third-largest chain.

CD & R includes Sir Teri Leahy, former CEO of Tesco, among its advisers. Andrew Higginson, the current chair of the Morrisons, worked alongside Lee for many years at Tesco. It also invests in EG Group’s rival, Motor Fuel Group.

The Morrisons management team, led by CEO Dave Potts, has sought to turn the business around since 2015, including through a business partnership with Amazon և Deliveroo.

But the market did not reward them. Shares are now lower than they were when Potts took office, falling 6.3% last year from a 11.5% rise in the UK’s leading FTSE 100 index earlier this year. when it was lowered.

70% of shareholders at the beginning of this month was rejected its payment arrangements.

At the end of January, the company reported an 8% increase in sales of the same stores, although total revenue increased by only 0.4% to 17.5 billion pounds due to sharply lower sales of fuel.

Expenditures on cows affected profits, net income increased by 0.5% to 96 million pounds. It employs 118,000 people, according to Capital IQ.

Analysts have long speculated that the group could fall into the hands of a bidder who owes its money և, like third-place Asda, which has a large number of open stores.

CD&R was one of the most active private equity firms in the UK this year, agreeing to a 8 2.8 billion deal to buy the UK-listed UDG healthcare group and a և 308 million deal to Wolseley, a plumbing business.

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