Morrisons owner plans £600m sale of food production arm

Morrisons’ new private equity owner Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is planning to sell properties used by the grocer’s food production arm amid inflationary pressures.

CD&R are reportedly seeking offers for the Big 4 grocer’s warehouses, food factories and fisheries which would be sold and then leased back.

According to the Sunday Times, the portfolio could accumulate over £600 million.

READ MORE: Morrisons increases hourly pay for store staff to £10.20 an hour

The news follows Morrisons warning in April that rising costs and falling consumer spending would squeeze.

Coupled with rising costs is the rise of discounters Aldi and Lidl, which has seen Morrisons’ market share fall to 9.5pc from 10pc a year ago.

The private equity form is committed to putting up about £3.4 billion in equity for its takeover but will borrow to finance the remaining portion.

Additionally, it is also believed that added pressure could see a greater sell off of store premises than expected.

However, CD&R has agreed not to engage in a “material” number of sale and leaseback deals for at least a year after the tie-up in completed – as Morrisons still own the majority of its shops.

The news comes after the CMA approved the private equity takeover on the condition CD&R sells 87 forecourts owned under the Motor Fuel Group.

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