Morrisons to be acquired for £6.3bn

Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC is to be bought by Oppidum Bidco Ltd (Bidco) following an offer of £6.3bn.

Andrew Higginson, Chairman of Morrisons, said, “The Morrisons Directors believe that the Offer represents a fair and recommendable price for shareholders which recognises Morrisons’ future prospects.

'Morrisons is an outstanding business and our performance through the pandemic has further improved our standing and enabled us to enter the discussions with Fortress from a hard-won position of strength.'

Higginson continued, 'We have looked very carefully at Fortress’ approach, their plans for the business and their overall suitability as an owner of a unique British food-maker and shopkeeper with over 110,000 colleagues and an important role in British food production and farming.

'It’s clear to us that Fortress has a full understanding and appreciation of the fundamental character of Morrisons. This, together with the very clear intentions they have set out today, has given the Morrisons Directors confidence that Fortress will support and accelerate our plans to develop and strengthen Morrisons further.'

The Cash Consideration payable to Morrisons Shareholders under the terms of the Offer will be financed by equity capital to be invested by funds managed or advised by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group (which owns Majestic Wine), LLC, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and a term loan and revolving credit facilities to be provided by Royal Bank of Canada and HSBC as mandated lead arrangers and RBC as facility agent.

Higginson concluded, 'Fortress, CPP Investments and KREI all have strong track records and a long-term approach to investing. They are backing our strategy, our management and our people. Morrisons has a rich history and a special culture and I am convinced that with the long term support of Fortress, the business will continue to prosper in the future.”

Joshua A. Pack, Managing Partner of Fortress, said, “We believe in making long-term investments focused on providing strong management teams with the necessary flexibility and support to execute their strategy in a sustainable and value enhancing manner.

'We fully recognise Morrisons’ rich history and the very important role Morrisons plays for colleagues, customers, members of the Morrisons Pension Schemes, local communities, partner suppliers and farmers.'

Pack finished, 'We are committed to being good stewards of Morrisons to best serve its stakeholder groups, and the wider British public, for the long term.”