Morrisons accepts new bid worth £7bn from CD&R to take control of the supermarket

Morrisons has confirmed it has accepted a higher offer of £7bn in the bidding war to take control of the business.

Morrisons this evening confirmed it is recommending to shareholders an offer of 285p per share from Clayton Dubilier & Rice.

The offer outbids the previous deal it had accepted from Fortress Investment Group and sees Morrisons switching back to CD&R who had originally been favoured in the battle to take control of the Bradford-based grocer.

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In a statement CD&R said it "believes Morrisons is a high quality business that is well-positioned within UK grocery and led by a strong management team."

Morrisons accepts new deal.

It added: "CD&R recognises the strength of Morrisons' heritage, the legacy of Sir Ken Morrison and its long-term track record of working with and for customers and stakeholders."

The move sees Morrisons withdraw from its previous agreement with New York-based fund Fortress to buy the company.

Commenting on the CD&R Offer, Andrew Higginson, Chair of Morrisons, said: "The Morrisons Board believes that the offer from CD&R represents good value for shareholders while at the same time protecting the fundamental character of Morrisons for all stakeholders.

"CD&R have a strong record of developing, strengthening and growing the businesses that they invest in and they share our vision for Morrisons' future. This, together with the strong set of intentions that they have set out today, gives the Morrisons Board confidence that CD&R will be a responsible, thoughtful and careful owner of an important British grocery business."

Sir Terry Leahy, Senior Adviser to CD&R funds, said: "CD&R is delighted to have the opportunity to support the management of Morrisons in executing their strategy to grow and develop the business. The grocery sector in the UK is undergoing great change and we believe Morrisons is well placed, with CD&R's support, to succeed in this environment. CD&R values Morrisons' distinctive business model and is committed to supporting it, including the successful ESG and broader stakeholder engagement strategies of the company that are essential to its continued success."