Morrisons leaves London Stock Exchange following £7bn takeover

The listing of Morrisons on the London Stock Exchange has been suspended as its takeover finally completed with the Bradford-based supermarket now in private hands.

Sir Terry Leahy, the former chief executive of Britain’s biggest supermarket chain Tesco, right, with David Potts, CEO of Morrisons.

The grocer was at the centre of a bidding war with US-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) successful with a bid of nearly £7bn.

The takeover was given the greenlight by 99.2 per cent of shareholders at a meeting last week.

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On Monday, Morrisons and CD&R announced that the court had sanctioned the scheme of arrangement for the purchase of the business, which has today become active.

David Potts and Sir Terry Leahy with a statute of the late Sir Ken Morrison in the background.

The listing of Morrisons shares on the London Stock Exchange's Main Market for listed securities were suspended with effect from 7.30am.

Morrisons has announced that, with effect from today, chairman Andrew Higginson, Rooney Anand, Susanne Given, Kevin Havelock, Lyssa McGowan and Jeremy Townsend have tendered their resignations and stepped down from the Morrisons board.

CEO David Potts, chief financial officer Trevor Strain and Michael Gleeson will remain on the Morrisons board.

CD&R made an offer of nearly £7bn beating out a rival bid from Softbank-owned Fortress Investment Group at an auction process earlier this month.

David Potts with Sir Terry Leahy following the £7bn takeover of Morrisons.

The stock market’s Takeover Panel, which governs merger and acquisition deals in the UK and arranged the auction, held the auction with Fortress offering 286p per Morrisons ordinary share, while CD&R offered 287p.

CD&R’s victory marks a triumphant return to the UK grocery sector for Terry Leahy, the former chief executive of Britain’s biggest supermarket chain Tesco, who is a senior adviser to the firm.

Sir Terry said: “We are very pleased to have received the approval of shareholders and are excited at the opportunity that lies ahead.

“The particular heritage, culture and operating model of Morrisons are key features of the company and we will be very mindful of these during our tenure as owners.

“We very much look forward to working with the Morrisons team, not just to preserve the company’s many strengths – but to build on these, with innovation, capital and new technology – helping the business realise its full potential and delivering for all of its stakeholders.”

Bradford-based Morrisons started out as an egg and butter merchant in 1899. It was founded by William Morrison.

The business listed its shares in 1967 and is Britain’s fourth-largest grocer after Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.


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