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Apollo pulls out of Morrisons takeover talks

Apollo could be involved as part of the Fortress offer

Apollo, the American investment company, has pulled out of the running to acquire Morrisons, as the firm changed its mind.

This stops the possibility of a bidding war in its tracks, as Fortress stepped up its own efforts in recent weeks.

Earlier this month Morrisons looked set to be taken over following a bid of £6.3m for the supermarket chain by a consortium that appears to have beat the competition to the finish line.

While the supermarket group’s directors are recommending acceptance, the offer remains subject to approval by shareholders.

Apollo said that while it does not plan to launch its own takeover bid, it could be involved as part of the Fortress offer.

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Last year, Apollo missed out when it tried to acquire Asda, one of the largest supermarket companies in the UK.

Sophie Lund-Yates, senior equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown said: “Apollo is laying down its weapons and potentially joining forces with the Fortress-led syndicate. From a shareholder perspective this is disappointing, because it takes the heat out of a potential bidding war, meaning the cash offer already on the table is less likely to get pushed upwards.”

During the morning session the Morrisons share price (LON:MRW) is down by 0.13%.

Morrisons first existed as a market stall in Bradford in 1899 owned by William Morrison. His son then took over the company and opened the first supermarket in the 1960s.

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