Morrisons exits stock market ahead of £7bn takeover

Morrisons has left the stock market after more than five decades as part of its acquisition by a US private equity firm.

The grocer was won this month by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) after a bidding war with Majestic Wine-owner Fortress.

Morrisons, which was sold for 287p-a-share, briefly became the darling of the London Stock Exchange.

Shares spiked by 66 per cent since the start of the year and it became the FTSE 100’s best performer, having dropped out of the rankings in March.

READ MORE: Taxpayers ‘ripped off’ by private equity in Morrisons deal

The supermarket was listed in 1967 under the charge of Sir Ken Morrison, who took over from his father William 15 years before.

Former Tesco boss and CD&R adviser Sir Terry Leahy harked back to the Morrisons family to win over doubters.

“I knew Ken Morrison well and I understand the vision and values he built his business on,” he said.

Morrisons marked the occasion with a photograph of Leahy and chief executive David Potts next to a statue of Morrison.

Leahy has often been called upon to manage the damage of the frequently-controversial bid.

When reports surfaced that CD&R would run the retailer from the Cayman Islands, he fought to get politicians and the public on-side.

“It will remain a British business, registered and headquartered in the UK, and CD&R ownership will not change that position,” he wrote to one sceptical MP.

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