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The battle for British supermarket group Morrisons

The battle for British supermarket group Morrisons
The battle for British supermarket group Morrisons   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

– The battle for Morrisons, Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket group, is the most high-profile looming takeover in the country amid a raft of bids and counter bids, reflecting private equity’s appetite for UK Plc.

Here is a timeline of events so far:

June 19

Morrisons rejects proposed 5.52 billion pound ($7.64 billion)cash offer from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).

June 30

Morrisons investor JO Hambro says CD&R should increase its offer to around 6.5 billion pounds.

July 3

Morrisons agrees to a 6.3 billion pound offer from a consortium led by SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group.

July 5

A third private equity group, Apollo Global Management, says it is evaluating a possible offer for Morrisons.

July 20

Apollo says it will not bid for Morrisons on its own but may join the Fortress consortium.

July 22

Scheme document outlining Fortress’ offer is published and Aug. 16 set for Morrisons’ shareholders to vote on offer. UK Takeover Panel gives CD&R until Aug. 9 to announce a firm intention to make an offer or walk away.

July 27

Silchester, Morrisons’ biggest shareholder, says not inclined to support Fortress offer.

July 28

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC joins Fortress-led private equity consortium.

July 29

Morrisons investor M&G says Fortress offer does not reflect value of group.

Aug. 6

Morrisons agrees to improved offer worth 6.7 billion pounds from Fortress consortium and adjourns shareholder meeting to vote on offer to Aug. 27.

Aug. 9

Takeover Panel extends CD&R’s “put-up or shut-up” deadline to Aug. 20.

Aug. 19

Morrisons agrees to 7.0 billion pound offer from CD&R and drops Fortress recommendation. Fortress says it is “considering its options”. Morrisons adjourns Aug. 27 shareholder meeting, says new meeting will be held around week starting Oct. 4.

Aug. 23

Morrisons shareholder Legal & General says it believes the true value of the supermarket group should be realised following CD&R’s sweetened bid, with more attention now being paid to its property assets.

Aug. 24

Morrisons’ pension schemes warn a takeover by either CD&R or Fortress could “materially weaken” the security of the schemes if no additional protection is agreed.

Aug. 27

Morrisons says scheme document for CD&R’s offer to be published on or around Sept. 11. It says shareholder meeting to vote on CD&R offer will be held on or around Oct. 5.

($1 = 0.7227 pounds)