Apollo in talks to join Fortress Investment for £6.3m Morrisons takeover bid – report

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US buyout house Apollo is reportedly in talks to join a consortium led by Fortress Investment Group that last month agreed a £9.5m takeover of UK supermarket chain Morrisons.

Apollo, which last year missed out on buying Morrisons rival Asda, entered into the field two weeks ago saying that it was examining a potential offer but had not approached its board. The firm said it did not intend to make an offer other than as part of the Fortress-led consortium, which also includes Canadian pension giant CPPIB.

 

Fellow private equity giant Clayton, Dubilier & Rice’s £8.7bn bid for the supermarket chain was rejected last month. Both offers include assumption of the company’s £3.2bn of net debt.

Last September TDR Capital and the founders of petrol station operator EG Group purchased a majority stake in Walmart’s UK supermarket chain Asda in a £6.5bn buyout.

Fellow supermarket chain Tesco sold its South Korea business to buyout house MBK Partners in 2015 in a record $6bn deal.

Apollo currently holds four companies in the consumer and retail sector and had made six exits. The firm acquired accessories retailer chain Claire’s out of its sixth fund in 2007 and carved out health and supplement brand GNC in 2003 out of its fifth fund.

Apollo raised more than $2.3bn for the final close of its latest Accord fund targeting dislocated credit deals in February, less than a year after it collected about $1.75bn for Accord Fund III in a matter of weeks, driven by LP desire to profit from the widespread market volatility caused by the Covid crisis.

The firm closed its flagship fund IX in 2017 with $24.7bn of commitments.

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