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    MRW   GB0006043169

WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS PLC

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UK's Morrisons investors to vote next month on Fortress offer

07/22/2021 | 02:38am EDT

* Morrisons agreed 6.3 bln stg Fortress offer on July 3

* Offer includes special dividend payment

* CD&R has until Aug. 9 to make rival bid

* Fees associated with bid total 313 mln stg

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) - Shareholders in British supermarket group Morrisons will vote next month on a 6.3 billion pound ($8.7 billion) agreed takeover offer from a consortium led by the SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group .

A scheme document outlining Fortress' offer, published on Thursday, said a court meeting and a general meeting of shareholders would be held on Aug. 16 at Morrisons' headquarters in Bradford, northern England, and online.

To go through, the offer needs the support of shareholders representing at least 75% in value of voting shareholders at the meeting.

The Fortress offer is worth 254 pence a share, made up of 252 pence in cash and a 2 pence a share special dividend.

Morrisons - Britain's fourth largest supermarket group after Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda - aims to have the takeover become effective on Aug. 26, with the special dividend paid two weeks later.

Shares in Morrisons closed at 268 pence on Thursday.

The offer from Fortress, along with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Koch Real Estate Investments, exceeded a 5.52 billion pound unsolicited proposal from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), which Morrisons rejected in June.

CD&R could still make a higher offer. Analysts have speculated that Amazon, which has a partnership deal with Morrisons, could also enter the fray.

Britain's Takeover Panel, which regulates corporate transactions, said on Thursday it had given CD&R until Aug. 9 to announce a firm intention to make an offer or walk away -- a so-called "put-up or shut-up" order.

A third private equity suitor Apollo Global Management said on Tuesday it would not pursue a solo offer for Morrisons but could join the Fortress consortium.

The scheme document showed that Fortress expected to incur banking and advisory fees and expenses of 263.5 million pounds, while Morrisons expected to incur up to 49.6 million pounds.

Morrisons said it and Fortress were also in talks with the trustees of Morrisons' pension schemes.

It said Fortress had confirmed it appreciated the importance of the schemes as key stakeholders and that it recognised the need to maintain support currently provided to them and that this required mitigation.

Talks are continuing with the trustees to agree mitigation and the trustees will issue their opinion on the Fortress offer in due course, Morrisons said.

($1 = 0.7286 pounds) (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton, Edmund Blair and Richard Pullin)


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMAZON.COM, INC. -0.38% 3475.309 Delayed Quote.6.72%
J SAINSBURY PLC 0.14% 282.4 Delayed Quote.25.06%
SOFTBANK GROUP CORP. 1.82% 6661 End-of-day quote.-17.34%
TESCO PLC -0.47% 255.95 Delayed Quote.11.13%
WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS PLC 0.93% 293.8 Delayed Quote.64.14%
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Analyst Recommendations on WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS PLC
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Financials
Sales 2022 18 071 M 24 850 M 24 850 M
Net income 2022 339 M 466 M 466 M
Net Debt 2022 2 725 M 3 748 M 3 748 M
P/E ratio 2022 21,6x
Yield 2022 2,54%
Capitalization 7 025 M 9 662 M 9 660 M
EV / Sales 2022 0,54x
EV / Sales 2023 0,52x
Nbr of Employees 118 000
Free-Float 98,8%
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Technical analysis trends WM MORRISON SUPERMARKETS PLC
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TrendsBullishBullishBullish
Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 9
Last Close Price 291,10 GBX
Average target price 268,28 GBX
Spread / Average Target -7,84%
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Managers and Directors
David T. Potts Chief Executive Officer & Director
Michael Gleeson Chief Financial Officer & Director
Andrew Thomas Higginson Independent Non-Executive Chairman
Trevor John Strain Chief Operating Officer & Director
Rooney Anand Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
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