Morrisons set to be subject of imminent bidding war

Morrisons set to be subject of imminent bidding war
// CD&R reportedly expected to return with another bid for Morrisons in the next 10 days
// Rival investment firms could trigger active engagement after CD&R reveals its intentions
// Analysts also say Sainsbury’s could be the next target for supermarket takeover

The private-equity firm behind rebuffed interest in Morrisons is expected to “clarify” its intentions for the Big 4 grocer imminently, a move that could spark a bidding war.

According to the Mail on Sunday, rival investment firms are holding off on triggering active engagement until Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) reveals its intentions for Morrisons.

CD&R is the New York-based firm behind the £5.5 billion takeover attempt of Morrisons last week – a move that was rejected by the British grocery giant.


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City brokers have since told CD&R to significantly increase its offer from the 230 pence per share suggested last week.

CD&R is now expected to return with another bid in the next 10 days.

While rumours about Morrisons’ future ownership have been circulating since CD&R initial bid was rejected and revealed, it’s thought that other private equity firms are waiting for CD&R to return with another bid before expressing interest.

Lone Star, Apollo, KKR and Amazon have all been listed as potentially interested in Morrisons, Mail on Sunday reported.

Experts believe the grocers’ board, led by chair Andy Higginson, will not accept anything less than 280 pence per share – a sum closer to £6.7 billion.

This is the same amount that the Issa brothers and TDR Capital paid to buy Big 4 rival Asda from Walmart earlier this year.

CD&R and Morrisons have not provided comment.

Separately, analysts speaking to The Telegraph have said that Sainsbury’s could be the next target for supermarket takeover.

It comes after the firm headed up by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky increased its stake in the Big 4 giant in April, sparking speculation the grocer could be targeted in a deal to take it private.

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