Morrisons bidder raises takeover offer to £6.7bn

The private equity-backed consortium vying to buy Morrisons has increased its bid for the supermarket chain to £6.7bn amid speculation of a rival bid.

Morrisons directors believe that the increased Fortress offer is in the best interests of shareholders and staff

The consortium led by US private equity firm Fortress has increased its previous offer, which had been agreed by management at the Bradford-based retailer, by £400m.

The bidder said it increased its offer amid “speculation regarding a possible counter-offer by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R)”, a rival US private equity firm which saw a £5.5bn approach rejected last month.

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UK takeover regulators had given CD&R a deadline of Monday August 9 to either place its own firm bid for the chain or walk away.

It also comes after a string of Morrisons’ investors – including largest shareholder Silchester – said they would not back the original 254p per share offer agreed.

The latest deal will value the company at 272p per share.

Morrisons said in a stock market statement: “Morrisons directors believe that the increased Fortress offer is in the best interests of Morrisons shareholders as a whole, and accordingly unanimously recommend that Morrisons shareholders vote in favour of the resolutions required to implement the increased Fortress offer."