• SoftBank Group (OTC: SFTBY)-backed Fortress Investment Group has agreed to buy Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC (OTC: MRWSY) for about $8.7 billion, Bloomberg reports.

  • Last month, it turned down a lower bid from Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).

  • CD&R has until July 17 to come back with a counteroffer.

  • The Fortress offers the supermarket chain an enterprise value of 9.5 billion pounds once its net debt of 3.2 billion is considered.

  • Fortress consortium includes the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the real estate arm of Koch Industries Inc., the largest privately held company in the U.S., run by the Koch family.

  • "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," Morrisons Chairman Andrew Higginson told Reuters.

  • Fortress purchased British wine seller Majestic Wine in 2019, and it has about $53 billion in assets under management as of March.

  • According to the deal, Morrisons' investors would receive 254 pence a share – 252 pence in cash and a 2 pence special cash dividend. CD&R's proposal was 230 pence a share.

  • According to Morrisons', it received a proposal from Fortress on May 4 at 220 pence a share. Later on June 5, it offered a total value of 254 pence a share.

  • Morrisons started as an egg and butter merchant in 1899. It owns 85% of its 500 stores and has 19 freehold manufacturing sites.

  • Photo by Rept0n1x on Wikimedia

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