National press reports at the weekend suggest that bidding for one of the big four grocers Morrisons - currently the subject of a £6.3 billion takeover by US private equity firm Fortress Investment Group – may not be over.
The Times reported that US private equity giant Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) - which owns the UK’s biggest independent forecourt group MFG - is preparing to make a further bid, following the rejection of its £5.5bn bid in June, amid apparent mounting opposition within the Morrisons’ camp to the Fortress offer.
On June 19 CD&R issued a statement confirming press speculation that it had made a cash offer for Morrisons.
The Morrisons board responded by rejecting the proposed cash offer of 230p per share saying: “The board of Morrisons evaluated the conditional proposal together with its financial adviser, Rothschild & Co, and unanimously concluded that the conditional proposal significantly undervalued Morrisons and its future prospects. Accordingly, the board rejected the conditional proposal on 17 June.”
If CD&R does take over Morrisons there has been speculation that it would open convenience stores on MFG’s forecourts, which would have major implications for the forecourt sector.