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CD&R's takeover of Britain's Morrisons gets final clearance

·1-min read

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice's 7 billion pound ($8.8 billion) takeover of British supermarket group Morrisons cleared its last regulatory hurdle on Thursday, more than eight months after shareholders backed the deal.

Britain's competition regulator formally accepted CD&R's offer to sell 87 petrol stations to address concerns over higher fuel prices.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had said last month it was minded to accept CD&R's proposals.

Morrisons has had to operate as a separate business whilst the CMA conducted its investigations.

“I am pleased the acquisition has cleared the final regulatory hurdle and we can now work closely with CD&R on the path ahead," said Morrisons CEO David Potts.

"Following hard on the heels of COVID, the cost of living crisis is another critical period for food retailers in the UK and there is important work ahead of us as we look to help customers and colleagues through these difficult economic times.”

Monthly industry data has shown Morrisons, Britain's fourth largest grocer, lagging larger rivals Tesco and Sainsbury's.

Morrisons warned in April that sales and core profit for the year could be hit by the crisis in Ukraine and rising inflation unless conditions improved.

Last month, Morrisons purchased convenience store chain McColl's out of administration.

The CMA is currently assessing that deal.

($1 = 0.7987 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey)

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