Morrisons takeover moves closer

The £7bn takeover of Morrisons is set to be approved after the competition watchdog said it would accept proposals from private equity buyer Clayton, Dubilier and Rice (CD&R).

CD&R, which also owns Motor Fuel Group (MFG), won an auction for Morrisons in October. However, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) began to investigate the deal over fears it would create a group controlling more than 1,250 of the UK’s 8,000 petrol stations.

The CMA concluded that the deal raises competition concerns in 121 local areas across England, Scotland, and Wales.

In order to address these concerns, CD&R has offered to divest 87 of MFG’s petrol stations to a purchaser or purchasers to be approved by the CMA.

The CMA is now consulting on these proposals. If they are accepted, the deal would be cleared to proceed.

Colin Raftery, Senior Director of Mergers at the CMA, said: “The sale of these petrol stations will preserve competition and prevent motorists from losing out due to this deal, which is particularly important when prices have recently hit record highs.”

A final decision is expected on 9 June.