Fortress Investment Group acquires Morrison Supermarkets

Founded in 1998 by Wes Edens, Rob Kauffman, and Randal Nardone, Fortress Investment Group is an asset management firm based out of New York City. As of March 2021, the firm manages approximately $54 billion alternative assets in private equity, liquid hedge funds, and credit funds with a global scope. In 2017, Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE: FIG) was acquired by Softbank Group Corp (OTC: SFTBY) for $3.3 billion. Headquarters for the firm remains in New York City.

In mid-June 2021, Fortress Investment Group acquired WM Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON: MRW). Founded in 1899 as an egg and butter merchant, the family-owned business now sits as the fourth largest supermarket chain in Great Britain. The negotiated amount of $8.7 billion, the fifth offer proposed, was backed by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Koch Real Estate Investments. Prior to the agreement, Morrison’s had rejected an unsolicited offer from the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier, and Rice (CD&R).

Morrison’s has a long history of family values, well established ethics and is deeply rooted in the local farming community. Over half of the fresh food, it sells is made by Morrison’s. The company hopes to maintain these qualities and believes Fortress will ensure that happens.

Under the terms of the takeover, Morrison’s shareholders will receive a premium of 42% more than the closing share price as of June 18, 2021. Additionally, Fortress Investment Group pledged to maintain salaries, persevere supplier relationships, and retain Morrison’s massive property portfolio. Fortress Investment Group also plans to continue the implementation of the supermarket chain’s business strategy and retain Morrison’s CEO David Potts and the rest of the current management team. Headquarters for the supermarket chain will remain in Bradford, UK. Refer to this page for additional information