Private equity group Apollo is examining a potential bid for Wm Morrison, the British supermarket chain that has already accepted a Recovery of £ 9.5 billion led by Fortezza, a rival investment group.
Apollo, that game over last year in a bidding battle for the Asda retail chain, it said in a statement on Monday that it was “in the preliminary stages of evaluating a possible bid” for the London-based company.
The U.S. private company is the latest global investment group to surround Morrisons, which last month turned down an offer from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice and over the weekend accepted the Fortress-led offer.
The appetite for private equity for Morrisons comes against a growing interest fund purchasing groups for British companies, whose ratings have been depressed by Brexit and the coronavirus crisis.
Shares of the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket chain gained 11% to 266.5p in Monday’s first trades – comfortably above the Fortress offer, launched at 252p a share, a sign that traders believe there will be a another offer.
Apollo said it had not made an approach to Morrison’s council, chaired by Andrew Higginson. “There can be no certainty that any offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which such an offer could be made,” the New York-based group added.
Morrisons, based in Bradford, said over the weekend that he had made a £ 9.5bn deal with the SoftBank Fortress, with Canadian pension fund CPPIB and a unit of Koch Industries.
The agreed deal included a special 2p-a-share dividend and valued Morrisons ’equity at £ 6.3bn before the inclusion of £ 3.2bn net.
The bidders also made several public commitments about the future of Morrisons, which traces its roots to an open market stall in 1899. They said they planned to keep the company’s headquarters in West Yorkshire, safeguarding the pensions and maintains a £ 10 an hour. minimum wage agreement for staff.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice’s unwanted offer was launched at 230p a share.