GIC joins Fortress-led consortium to bid for Morrisons

July 29, 2021 (Last Updated July 29th, 2021 16:47)

Morrisons has accepted a £6.3bn ($8.7bn) bid from the consortium, which is led by Fortress Investment Group.

GIC joins Fortress-led consortium to bid for Morrisons
The Fortress-led consortium has bid £6.3bn ($8.7bn) for Morrisons. Credit: Mikey / Flickr.

Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund GIC has joined a consortium led by private equity firm Fortress that seeks to acquire British supermarket chain Morrisons.

Earlier this month, the supermarket chain accepted a £6.3bn ($8.7bn) bid from the consortium.

GIC owns around 0.21% of Morrisons’ issued share capital and will join the consortium via its Cambourne Life investment vehicle.

Despite the investment, Fortress will remain the consortium’s majority shareholder and the value of the takeover offer will remain unchanged.

In its filings, the company said: “Bidco is pleased to announce today that Cambourne Life Investment (Cambourne) has agreed to join the investment group led by Fortress as an additional co-investor, alongside CPP Investments and KREI, and to provide financing to Bidco in respect of the Fortress Offer.

“Fortress has syndicated a portion of its funding commitment in respect of Bidco to Cambourne and Cambourne has entered into an equity commitment letter in favour of Bidco.

“In addition, Cambourne has entered into a deed of adherence to the Bid Conduct Agreement, pursuant to which Cambourne has adhered to the Bid Conduct Agreement in the capacity of a co-investor.

“The parties have agreed to make certain amendments to the terms of the Bid Conduct Agreement.”

The announcement comes after private equity firm Apollo signalled its intention to join the agreed takeover deal.

Morrisons’ current largest shareholder, British investment firm Silchester, which holds a 15% stake in the retailer, refused to support the deal.

The supermarket chain is due to vote on the offer at a general meeting on 16 August.

Last month, Morrisons rejected a £5.5bn ($7.62bn) initial bid from private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier and Rice (CD&R).

The retailer decided the offer would “significantly undervalue” the business after consulting its advisor, financial firm Rothschild and Co.

CD&R was given a deadline of 9 August to either make a fresh bid or withdraw from the transaction.