Morrisons welcomes CMA’s green light for CD&R takeover

The finalisation of the takeover was announced earlier today and has been approved by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

Morrisons welcomed the announcement today by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that it has accepted the undertakings given by CD&R in relation to its acquisition of Morrisons.   

The regulator gave the takeover the green light for the £7bn takeover after agreeing to CD&R’s offer to sell a number of its petrol forecourts. Concerns over market competition had previously been raised by the CMA as CD&R is also the owner of Motor Fuel Group (MFG), the largest independent operator of petrol stations in the United Kingdom.

MFG operates 921 petrol stations across England, Scotland and Wales under a number of different brands, while Morrisons also operates 339 petrol stations, the vast majority of which are located at its supermarkets across the UK.

Commenting on the move, David Potts, Morrisons’ CEO, said: “I am pleased the acquisition has cleared the final regulatory hurdle and we can now work closely with CD&R on the path ahead. 

“Following hard on the heels of Covid, the cost of living crisis is another critical period for food retailers in the UK and there is important work ahead of us as we look to help customers and colleagues through these difficult economic times.” 

Sir Terry Leahy, senior adviser to CD&R funds, added: “We welcome today’s announcement and the CMA’s thoughtful engagement throughout the process. We are delighted to be supporting Morrisons on the next stage of their journey and to working closely with the team to grow the business and provide quality, value, service and choice – shopping trip attributes that have long been the company’s tradition.”

The firm first won the supermarket chain at auction last October, where it bid 287p per Morrisons ordinary share, against a rival offer from Fortress, for 286p per share.

The supermarket group had previously declined an offer worth £5.5bn by the firm back in July stating that it “undervalued the business significantly”.

Andrew Higginson, chair of Morrisons, commented that the final offer represented “excellent value for shareholders”, while at the same time protecting the “fundamental character” of Morrisons for all stakeholders.

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