GIC joins Fortress bid for UK supermarket Morrisons

Britain's fourth largest supermarket has agreed to a takeover led by SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group.
Britain's fourth largest supermarket has agreed to a takeover led by SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Singapore's sovereign wealth fund has joined the Fortress-led private equity consortium making a recommended offer for the British supermarket group Morrisons, the companies said on Wednesday.

Britain's fourth largest supermarket has agreed to a takeover led by SoftBank-owned Fortress Investment Group, valuing it at £6.3 billion (S$11.8 billion). Two other private equity groups, CD&R and Apollo, have also shown interest.

However the Fortress-led group may still have more work to do after Morrisons' biggest shareholder, Silchester, said on Tuesday it was not inclined to support the deal because there was little in the offer that could not be achieved as a listed company.

Silchester owns a 15.14 per cent stake in Morrisons. The offer agreement includes a scheme of arrangement with a 75 per cent hurdle for shareholder acceptance and squeeze out.

GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, holds around 0.21 per cent of the issued share capital of Morrisons.