MORRISONS was the belle of the ball on the London Stock Exchange late last month, when its share price surged 20% in one day – following the supermarket’s rejection of a private equity takeover offer.
US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) approached Morrisons with a bid to buy the supermarket that valued it at £8.7bn.
Under the Takeover Code, CD&R has until 17 July to make a firm offer for the Morrisons business, with some market analysts predicting a bidding war for the supermarket.
The move is the latest in a long run of mergers and acquisition attempts at the top of the UK grocery retail sector.
In February, Asda was acquired by TDR Capital, the firm run by forecourt retailer entrepreneurs Mohsin and Zuber Issa.
That acquisition followed on from the failed attempt to merge Asda with Sainsburys. The new entity would have been the largest grocery retailer in the UK, had the deal not been quashed by the Competition and Markets Authority.