Morrisons has agreed a takeover offer from a new US investment groups which values the British supermarket group at £6.3billion.
Shareholders will receive 254 pence a share, comprising 252 pence in cash and a 2 pence cash dividend as a result of the deal by the trio of private investment groups led by Fortress.
The offer exceeds the £5.52billion proposal from US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which Morrisons rejected on June 19, saying it was far too low.
The deal was struck by Softbank-owned Fortress, Canadian pension fund CPPIB and a unit of Koch Industries.
Morrisons, which trails UK market leader Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda in annual sales, said the offer represents a premium of 42 per cent to its closing share price of 178 pence on June 18 – the last business day before CD&R’s proposal.
Shares in Morrisons closed on Friday at 243 pence, valuing the business at £5.8billion.
Fortress is a global investment manager with about £38billion in assets under management as of March.
Morrisons said an initial unsolicited proposal was received from Fortress on May 4 at 220 pence a share. This offer was not made public.
Fortress then made four subsequent proposals before its offer reached a total value of 254 a share on June 5.
Andrew Higginson, Morrisons chair, told the Financial Times: ‘We have looked very carefully at Fortress’ approach, their plans for the business and their overall suitability as an owner of a unique British food-maker and shopkeeper with over 110,000 colleagues and an important role in British food production and farming.
‘It’s clear to us that Fortress has a full understanding and appreciation of the fundamental character of Morrisons.’