© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A flag flies outside a Morrison supermarket in New Brighton, Britain, July 5, 2021. REUTERS / Phil Noble / File Photo
(Reuters) – Morrisons, Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket group, is the target of the country’s highest-profile takeover battle with a series of offers and counter-offers reflecting private equity appetite for UK Plc.
Here is a timeline of the events so far.
19th of June
Morrisons rejects a proposed £ 5.52 billion ($ 7.43 billion) cash offer from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).
Morrison’s investor JO Hambro says CD&R should increase its offering to around 6.5 billion pounds.
3rd of July
Morrisons accepts a £ 6.3 billion offer from a consortium led by SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group. Emerge Fortress made an initial approach in early May.
A third private equity group, Apollo Global Management (NYSE :), says it is evaluating a possible offering for Morrisons.
Apollo says he won’t bid on Morrisons on his own, but he can join the Fortress consortium.
The outline document outlining the Fortress offering is published and is set on August 16 for Morrisons shareholders to vote on the offering. UK Takeover Panel gives CD&R until August 9 to announce firm intention to bid or withdraw.
Silchester, Morrisons’ largest shareholder, says it is unwilling to support Fortress’s bid.
28 of July
Singapore’s GIC sovereign wealth fund joins the Fortress-led consortium.
Morrison’s investor M&G says the Fortress offering does not reflect the value of the group.
Morrisons accepts an enhanced £ 6.7 billion offer from the Fortress consortium and postpones a shareholders’ meeting to vote on the offer until August 27.
The Acquisition Panel extends the CD & R “put or close” deadline until August 20.
Morrisons accepts a 7 billion pound (285 pence per share) offer from CD&R and dismisses Fortress’s recommendation. Fortress says it is “considering its options.” Morrisons says the August 27 shareholders meeting will take place around the week starting October 4.
Morrisons shareholder Legal & General says he believes the supermarket group’s true value should materialize after CD & R’s sweetened offering, and that more attention is now paid to its real estate assets.
Morrisons pension plans warn that an acquisition by CD&R or Fortress could “materially weaken” the security of the plans if additional protection is not agreed upon.
Morrisons says the outline document for the CD&R offering to be released on or around September 11. It says the shareholders’ meeting to vote on the CD&R offer will be held on or about October 5.
Morrisons says he is in discussions with CD&R, Fortress and the Procurement Panel about an auction process. It says the outline document for the CD & R offering will be published around September 25, with a shareholders meeting around October 18.
CD&R enters into an agreement with pension trustees to provide additional security and support.
Publication of the outline document of the CD & R offer. Shareholders’ meeting scheduled for October 19.
The Procurement Panel says the auction will take place on October 2.
CD&R wins the auction with a bid of 287 pence a share to Fortress’s 286 pence.
($ 1 = 0.7427 pounds)
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