Apollo pulls out of Morrisons takeover talks, but could join Fortress bid

  • Apollo pulls out of Morrisons takeover talks
  • Bosses are in early discussions with rival Fortress to team up and become part of its consortium to buy the grocer

By guest author Georgia Wright from Retail Gazette

Caption courtesy by Retail Gazette

Apollo Asset Management has said it will no longer be making an offer for Morrisons but is now in talks to join a consortium with rival Fortress

In a statement published this morning, July 20, 2021, the private equity firm said: “Apollo confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for Morrisons other than as part of the Fortress Offer.”

“Apollo Global Management confirms that it is in the preliminary stages of discussions with Fortress Investment Group, LLC regarding the recommended offer for Morrisons by Oppidum Bidco Limited which may result in funds managed or advised by Apollo forming part of the investment group led by Fortress for the purposes of the Fortress Offer” the statement also said.

The move is the latest development in a string of takeover approaches for the the UK’s fourth largest supermarket.

The takeover battle for the supermarket started last month when New York private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice made a proposed GBP 5.5 billion bid which was later rejected.

Earlier this month, Morrisons accepted a GBP 6.3bn takeover bid from a new group of funds led by affiliates of SoftBank-backed Fortress, the firm announced this morning.

Morrisons shareholders will receive 254p a share under the agreement, comprising 252p in cash and a 2p cash dividend. The bid was accepted on June 18, 2021.

Other private equity firms were also reportedly considering submitting competing bids for the company after the news broke.

Unlike other supermarkets, Morrisons owns the vast majority of its stores’ freeholds and has a large manufacturing supply chain.

Politicians previously raised concerns about the looming takeover and warned that any new owner could strip assets and reduce the rights of workers, however Fortress has stressed it intends to continue operating with the same management team.

www.apollo.com