UK retailer Morrisons looks to offload seafood, food-production units

Published on
June 16, 2022
The new private equity owner of Wm Morrison Supermarketsis working on plans to sell off the grocery chain’s portfolio of food-manufacturing plants.

Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), the new private equity owner of Wm Morrison Supermarkets, is working on plans to sell off the grocery chain’s portfolio of food-manufacturing plants and warehouses, according to The Sunday Times.

The newspaper reported that U.S.-headquartered CD&R is marketing the assets in a proposed sale and leaseback transaction designed to drive up returns from its GBP 7 billion (USD 8.8 billion, EUR 8.2 billion) leveraged buyout of Morrisons, the fourth-largest supermarket chain in the U.K. The move could raise more than GBP 600 million (USD 753.1 million, EUR 702.4 million).

While suitors have not yet been told the composition of the portfolio on offer, it is expected to include several of Morrisons nine distribution centers and 20 food-manufacturing sites, including seafood-production facilities, across the United Kingdom, the Sunday Times reported. Wm Morrison Supermarkets did not comment on the plans.

CD&R’s acquisition of Morrisons was approved by the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority on 9 June, 2022.

In April 2022, Morrisons warned rising costs and falling consumer spending would squeeze its profits this year. A May 2022 Kantar analysis showed Morrisons’ market share fell from 10 percent to 9.5 percent in the past year, while discounter rivals Aldi and Lidl had increased their shares to 9 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively.

Photo courtesy of Ceri Breeze/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

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