Apollo withdraws solo bid for Morrisons

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The chances of an actual bidding war on British supermarket chain Morrisons have been reduced significantly, after one of the interested parties said it would not bid on its own.

 

Talks with Fortress

According to Reuters, American group Apollo Global Management is negotiating to join the consortium led by Fortress, which reached an agreement to acquire Morrisons for 6.3 billion pounds (7.4 billion euros) earlier this month. This would mean that Apollo, which has stakes in Watches of Switzerland and Endemol Shine, will not make its own bid for the British supermarket chain. Earlier this month, Apollo said it was evaluating a bid of its own.

 

Fortress's bid was the second in a short time for Morrisons: in June, Clayton Dubilier & Rice first attempted to acquire the British retailer, but its bid of 5.5 billion pounds (6.4 billion euros) was resolutely rejected.

 

Whether the battle for Morrisons is now fully settled, remains to be seen: analysts speculate that Amazon, which has a cooperation agreement with the supermarket chain, might yet get involved in the fight.

 

Morrisons is the fourth largest supermarket group in Britain, after Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda. Fortress has already made it clear that the current management team will stay on if a takeover were to materialise. The strategy would also remain unchanged.