// Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is set to take control of the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket group
// If the bid is approved by shareholders, CD&R will take over Morrisons by November
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) has won an auction for the British supermarket Morrisons with a £7 billion bid.
The 287p a share bid narrowly beat the 286p offer by a consortium led by the Softbank-owned Fortress Investment Group on Saturday, in a showdown to settle Morrisons’ future.
The takeover saga for the supermarket has dragged on since June amid strong competition from two US-based investment groups.
CD&R’s auction offer is slightly higher than the 285p-a-share offer that was recommended by Morrisons’ board in August.
In July, Morrisons turned down an offer worth £5.5 billion from CD&R, saying it significantly undervalued the business.
The board is now expected to recommend shareholders accept the new offer at a meeting set for October 19.
If the bid is approved by shareholders, CD&R will take over Morrisons by November.
Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson said CD&R’s offer was “excellent value” and would protect the “fundamental character of Morrisons for all stakeholders”.
“CD&R have good retail experience, a strong record of developing and growing the businesses in which they invest, and they share our vision and ambition for Morrisons. We remain confident that CD&R will be a responsible, thoughtful and careful owner of an important British grocery business,” he added.
“The board is confident that Morrisons will continue to go from strength to strength under CD&R’s ownership.”