Morrisons has drafted in city advisers as it considers options to support the financial struggles of its convenience store partner McColl’s.
The Big 4 grocer has appointed Houlihan Lokey to explore options for its exposure to the embattled London-listed retailer.
While the appointment of city advisers does not mean that Morrisons plans a takeover bid for McColl’s, it could indicate that the grocer is looking to acquire sites as part of any break-up or insolvency process.
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The news comes a month after McColls received a takeover approach from petrol station giant EG Group – but those discussions had ended.
Morrisons, which is now owned by the private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice, has a joint venture with the symbol group retailer that now extends to more than 200 shops, with plans to double that number in the coming years.
Last month, McColl’s said it aimed to publish full-year results in May and that it “continues to believe that a financing solution will be found that involves its existing partners and stakeholders.”