// Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is understood to start a bidding war for the Big 4 grocer
// If successful, CD&R will open Morrisons convenience stores at over 900 petrol stations
// CD&R is also reportedly focusing on how it can use excess space in Morrisons’s sites “more imaginatively”.
Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is poised to start a bidding war for Big 4 grocer Morrisons, following a £6.3 billion offer led by American buyout rival Fortress.
According to The Sunday Times, CD&R is understood to have been preparing equity and debt financing for a counter-bid, which could come “as soon as this week”.
If successful, the private equity firm would partner with Motor Fuel Group to open Morrisons convenience stores at over 900 petrol stations.
- Bidders expect to clear CMA rules for £6.3bn Morrisons offer
- Singapore’s GIC joins £6.3bn Morrisons takeover deal
- Morrisons’ biggest shareholder refuses to support £6.3bn takeover deal
The Big 4 grocer has been in partnership with Motor Fuel Group since 2015.
CD&R is also reportedly focusing on how it can use excess space in Morrisons’s sites “more imaginatively”, as advised by former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy.
Earlier this week, Fortress expected to clear CMA rules in regards to its £6.3 billion takeover deal.
In a statement to the stock market, Fortress said that the CMA has “not opened an inquiry or indicated in writing that it is still investigating whether to open an inquiry”.
The move follows the Singapore sovereign wealth fund joining forces with the private equity-led consortium seeking to buy Morrisons in a £6.3 billion deal.
Despite Morrison’s board of directors having already agreed on the takeover move, led by Fortress, earlier this month, it recommended shareholders approve it when they meet to vote on the matter next month.
However, on Tuesday evening, Morrison’s largest shareholder, Silchester International, said it would not support the offer and called for more time for other potential bidders to come forward.