The battle for Morrisons (MRW.L), Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket group, is the most high-profile looming takeover in the country amid a raft of bids and counter bids, reflecting private equity’s appetite for UK Plc.
Here is a timeline of events so far:
- June 19
Morrisons rejects proposed 5.52 billion pound ($7.64 billion)cash offer from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).
- June 30
Morrisons investor JO Hambro says CD&R should increase its offer to around 6.5 billion pounds.
- July 3
Morrisons agrees to a 6.3 billion pound offer from a consortium led by SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group (9984.T).
- July 5
A third private equity group, Apollo Global Management, says it is evaluating a possible offer for Morrisons.
- July 20
Apollo says it will not bid for Morrisons on its own but may join the Fortress consortium.
- July 22
Scheme document outlining Fortress’ offer is published and Aug. 16 set for Morrisons’ shareholders to vote on offer. UK Takeover Panel gives CD&R until Aug. 9 to announce a firm intention to make an offer or walk away.
- July 27
Silchester, Morrisons’ biggest shareholder, says not inclined to support Fortress offer.
- July 28
Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC joins Fortress-led private equity consortium.
- July 29
Morrisons investor M&G (MNG.L) says Fortress offer does not reflect value of group.
- Aug. 6
Morrisons agrees to improved offer worth 6.7 billion pounds from Fortress consortium and adjourns shareholder meeting to vote on offer to Aug. 27.
- Aug. 9
Takeover Panel extends CD&R’s “put-up or shut-up” deadline to Aug. 20.
- Aug. 19
Morrisons agrees to 7.0 billion pound offer from CD&R and drops Fortress recommendation. Fortress says it is “considering its options”. Morrisons adjourns Aug. 27 shareholder meeting, says new meeting will be held around week starting Oct. 4.
- Aug. 23
Morrisons shareholder Legal & General says it believes the true value of the supermarket group should be realised following CD&R’s sweetened bid, with more attention now being paid to its property assets.
- Aug. 24
Morrisons’ pension schemes warn a takeover by either CD&R or Fortress could “materially weaken” the security of the schemes if no additional protection is agreed.
- Aug. 27
Morrisons says scheme document for CD&R’s offer to be published on or around Sept. 11. It says shareholder meeting to vote on CD&R offer will be held on or around Oct. 5.