Private equity giant Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is poised to buy Morrisons for £7 billion after emerging victorious from a three-month bidding war for the supermarket chain (The Times £). US private equity group Clayton, Dubilier and Rice has triumphed in the four-month long takeover battle for Morrisons with a bid of £9.97bn including debt for the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket (The Financial Times £). The US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is set to become the new owner of Morrisons after the grocer’s board backed its £7.1bn bid for the supermarket chain following a tense auction with a rival suitor (The Guardian). The Morrisons board has given the go-ahead for a historic takeover after a knockout bid by a US private equity giant advised by former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy (The Daily Mail). A US private equity group is poised to take control of the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket group (Sky News, The BBC).
Clayton, Dubilier and Rice plans to appoint Sir Terry Leahy as chair of supermarket group Wm Morrison after winning the £10bn takeover battle for the UK grocer, said two people briefed on the private equity firm’s plans (The Financial Times £). It will soon be a case of friends reunited at Morrisons when Sir Terry Leahy becomes chairman after the shotgun auction of Britain’s fourth biggest supermarket chain on Saturday (The Times £). Sir Terry Leahy is set to return to the helm of a British supermarket for the first time in a decade after the US buyout firm advised by the former Tesco chief won a £7bn shoot-out for Morrisons (The Telegraph). Sir Terry Leahy is set to return to supermarkets after spearheading the £7billion takeover of Morrisons (The Daily Mail).
The bidding frenzy to seize control of Morrisons is expected to spark a flurry of takeover offers for UK firms as foreign investors seek to cash in on low interest rates and the weak pound. (The Telegraph)
Opposition parties have urged Morrisons’ incoming private equity owners to protect workers and ensure that the supermarket is not heaped with debt and stripped of assets as a result of the company’s pending takeover. (The Guardian)
Tesco is expected to announce plans to return capital to shareholders when it reports half-year results on Wednesday, as the UK’s largest food retailer looks to ignite a share price that has lagged behind rivals (The Financial Times £). Tesco will unveil a big share buyback programme this week alongside its eagerly awaited results, at which the chief executive Ken Murphy will sketch out his vision for the UK’s largest grocer (The Times £).
Farmers have warned that up to 120,000 pigs face being culled because of a lack of abattoir workers, as acute labour shortages across supply chains continue to wreak havoc on the UK economy (The Guardian). About 120,000 pigs could be culled and their carcasses dumped because of a shortage of butchers, the industry has warned (Sky News).
Ministers have been told that petrol queues in some parts of the country have become worse and army help will not relieve the problem, amid a growing business backlash over the government’s handling of the shortages crisis (The Guardian). Petrol supplies are still not getting to London and south-east England, with more than a fifth of forecourts still dry, retailers have said (The BBC). Temporary visas are to be issued to 300 overseas fuel drivers “immediately”, the government has announced. Under the bespoke scheme, those foreign drivers will be able to work in the UK from now until the end of March (The BBC).
The Conservative Party’s row with business escalated sharply on Sunday after a Tory MP claimed food shortages were in the “long-term interest” of the British economy. (The Telegraph)
Shares in billionaire Matthew Moulding’s beauty to fitness e-commerce giant The Hut Group have gone into free fall, sinking below last year’s £5 float price for the first time after a number of major banks and investors sold their stakes. (The Daily Mail)
Britain’s biggest maker of sandwiches has shrugged off supply chain and labour problems to deliver a further improvement in trading during its final quarter. (The Times £)
JD Wetherspoon is planning to hit back at the negative impact of corporate governance rules by promoting worker directors to its board (The Times £). JD Wetherspoon said it was struggling to find staff in some parts of England as the pub chain counts the cost of the coronavirus pandemic, reporting a record loss of almost £200m (The Guardian).
The maker of Magners cider and Tennent’s lager is considering disposing of its 47 per cent stake in Admiral Taverns. (The Times £)