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Fortress to launch review if Morrisons bid successful

The review would reportedly include the supermarket group’s real estate strategy and executive remuneration arrangements

US Private equity fund Fortress Investment Group will reportedly launch a review of Morrisons’ operations within the first six months of ownership, should its planned £6.3bn takeover bid end successfully.

According to the Financial Times, while Fortress are “broadly supportive” of Morrisons’ management team the review would include the supermarket group’s real estate strategy and executive remuneration arrangements.

Moreover, the US firm said that investment in the business could bring further acquisitions, while it would also be “assessing strategic options” in respect to Morrisons’ petrol fillings station portfolio.

It comes as the FT also revealed that bankers, financiers, and other advisers are set to gain approximately £300m in fees, should the deal go ahead on its proposed 26 August deadline.

A document shared for the UK grocer’s shareholders, who are set to vote on the bid on 16 August, showed Fortress to incur over £263m of fees, with £36m of adviser and broker payouts alongside £17m of legal costs.

In addition, Morrisons forecasted £49m of costs to advisers Rothschild and brokers Shore Capital and Jeffries.

Yet, private equity firm Clayton Dublier and Rice (CD&R) can still table a counter offer for the supermarket chain.

The group has until 9 August to improve its 230p share proposal for Morrisons, which was rejected in June.

Retail Sector has contacted Fortress for further comment.

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