By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 25 March 2022 • 9:59
Morrisons takeover could see fuel prices rise
Private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) £7bn wants to acquire the supermarket chain, with its 339 petrol forecourts. Should the deal go through, prices could rise in line with some 900 petrol stations already owned by CD&R through their subsidiary petrol station giant Motor Fuel Group.
The two sides were given five days on Wednesday March 23rd to offer proposals to ease the concerns, after which the CMA has five days to decide whether to accept them or pursue a deeper probe if these concerns are not addressed.
Colin Raftery at the CMA said: “Prices for petrol and diesel have recently hit record highs, which makes it even more important that we don’t allow a lack of competition at the pump to make the situation worse.
“We’re concerned that this deal could lead to higher prices for motorists in some parts of the country. But if CD&R and Morrisons are able to address these concerns, then we won’t need to move on to an in-depth investigation of the merger.”
In a similar deal rival Asda agreed to sell 27 petrol stations in 2021 after the CMA raised concerns over the company’s takeover by billionaire petrol station entrepreneurs the Issa brothers and British private equity firm TDR Capital.
Founded in 1978, CD&R is one of the oldest private equity houses on the market, and now has more than $30bn (£22.7bn) invested in a businesses across multiple different industries. With offices in New York and London, it says it has an aggregate transaction value in excess of $140bn.
CD&R, founded in 1978, counts corporate retail heavyweights among its top echelon including Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco who became a senior advisor to the firm in 2011.
Morrisons had said it would lower prices by 5p per litre on Wednesday March 23: “Following the chancellor’s announcement regarding the 5p duty reduction on fuel, prices at Morrisons petrol station pumps will reduce by 5 pence at 6pm on Wednesday.”
Other supermarkets including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco also said they would be passing on the price reduction to customers.
The concern express by the CMA that the Morrisons takeover could see fuel prices rise, is not good news for consumers who are paying on average more than £100 extra a year for petrol following the Ukraine crises.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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