Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC agreed to acquire Business and Assets of McColl's Retail Group plc from McColl's Retail Group plc (LSE:MCLS) for £160 million on May 9, 2022. Morrisons will acquire all of McColl's 1160 stores which include 270 Morrisons Daily format stores. All McColl's colleagues will be transferred with the McColl's business to Morrisons.
Toby Banfield, Rachael Wilkinson and Rob Lewis of PwC were appointed as joint administrators of McColl's Retail Group plc. On May 12, 2022, Morrison will pay off McColl's £170 million debt, retaining some £16,000 staff and their pension scheme. Morrisons has confirmed it is taking over all the McColl's 1,160 stores nationwide.
As of June 09, 2022. Competition and Markets Authority has accepted the undertakings given by CD&R in relation to its acquisition of Morrisons. As of September 8, 2022, Competition and Markets Authority decided that it is or may be the case that this merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom.
This merger will be referred for a phase 2 investigation unless the parties offer acceptable undertakings to address these competition concerns. In terms of management, Joseph Sutton, Morrisons convenience, online and wholesale director, will take on direct responsibility for McColl's. McColl's interim CEO Karen Bird and CFO Giles David are set to leave the business following a short handover period. As of September 23, 2022, Morrisons offered undertakings to the Competition and Markets Authority, which involve divesting convenience stores.
The Competition and Markets Authority considers that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the undertakings offered by Morrisons or a modified version of them, might be accepted by the Competition and Markets Authority under the Enterprise Act 2002. As of October 27, 2022, Competition and Markets Authority accepted undertakings in lieu of reference. As of November 01, 2022, Morrisons confirmed that it would permanently close 132 McColl's stores in an orderly fashion over the remainder of the year.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has advised Market Bidco Finco Plc, an indirect subsidiary of funds managed or advised by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, LLC (CD&R), in the offerings of £1.075 billion and £545 million of senior secured fixed rate notes in connection with the financing of CD&R's acquisition of Wm Morrison Supermarkets Limited.