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Morrison’s private equity suitor to up its bid early next week

Morrison’s private equity suitor to up its bid early next week as deadline is extended following rival’s £6.7bn offer

US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is set to raise its bid for Morrison’s next week following rival Fortress’s £6.7bn offer

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) will start its fightback with a higher bid for Morrisons early next week, after the deadline to raise its offer was extended.

The US private equity firm was left reeling after its rival, a consortium led by Fortress private equity, increased its bid for the supermarket group from £6.3billion to £6.7billion, equivalent to 272p-per-share.

CD&R, whose bid is being headed by former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy, was said to be blind-sided by the move as it had been hoping to make its first formal offer for around 265p per share by last night’s deadline.

But yesterday insiders said it had the firepower to raise its bid and was preparing to enter the race next week with a higher offer and a fresh slate of pledges to protect the grocer’s legacy. 

It was given a boost as the Takeover Panel extended the deadline to 5pm on August 20. 

The date for shareholders to vote on Fortress’s offer has also been pushed back to August 27. 

Analysts have suggested offers between 270p and 280p are competitive, although one claimed the real price is 314p per share, or £7.7billion.