U.S. private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is set to push ahead with its pursuit of British supermarket chain Morrisons (MRW.L) despite its initial offer being rejected, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
CD&R now plans to wait to gauge investor reaction and signs of any political pushback before deciding on its next steps, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.
The board of Morrisons will seek assurances from any potential buyer on the future of its workforce, manufacturing and pensions as the supermarket group prepares for rival bids, the Times newspaper reported on Monday.
The move from CD&R could spark a bidding war from rival private equity firms or Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), which has an online partnership with the grocer, the Times said.
The Labour Party warned on Sunday that a private equity acquisition of Morrisons, Britain’s fourth biggest grocer, would put jobs at risk, but it is unlikely that the government would look to intervene, the Times added.
Morrisons had rejected a proposed 5.52 billion pound ($7.62 billion) cash offer from CD&R on Saturday, saying it was far too low.