Ashurst advises Morrisons on 6 3bn takeover

Insight Hero Image
    Morrisons began as a Bradford market stall in 1899 and has grown to become the UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain, employing over 110,000 colleagues across the UK.  Following the opening of the first Morrisons supermarket store in 1961, Morrisons went public in 1967, and first entered the FTSE 100 index in April 2001.  

    As at May 2021, Morrisons operated a largely freehold property estate including 497 stores, 339 petrol filling stations, 20 manufacturing and packing sites and 9 distribution centres. Through its conveniently located stores, Morrisons carries out approximately 9 million customer transactions every week and has a reach which extends to 99.6 per cent. of households in Great Britain. 

    Ashurst has been a longstanding adviser to Morrisons for many years, advising on its acquisition of Safeway in 2004 and more recently on the launch of its online delivery partnership with Ocado in 2013.

    Fortress is a leading global investment manager with approximately $53 billion in assets under management as of 31 March 2021. Fortress manages assets on behalf of over 1,800 institutional clients and private investors worldwide across a range of credit and real estate, private equity and permanent capital investment strategies.  For the purposes of making the offer Fortress has agreed to partner with CPP Investments, the professional investment management organisation that invests the funds transferred to it by Canada Pension Plan, and KREI, part of Koch Industries which is one of the largest privately held businesses in the United States.   

    The Ashurst team advising Morrisons is being led by Tom Mercer with fellow corporate partner James Fletcher, competition partner Nigel Parr and strategic advisory partner and co-head of Ashurst's London office Lynn Dunne, assisted by senior corporate associates Hayley Gow and Sara Hamzawi and associates Lauren Garrett, Paul Ryan-Brown, Colin Bugler, Yoana Georgieva, Clara Yeo, and Emile Abdul-Wahab. The team also includes head of incentives Nicholas Stretch and counsel Rebecca Servian, pensions counsel John Gordon, employment partner Ruth Buchanan, competition economist David Wirth and finance partners Anna Delgado and Tim Rennie