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UPDATE 1-Private equity firm CD&R weighs offer for UK supermarket Morrisons

·1 min read

(Adds detail)

LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) is considering a possible cash offer for British supermarket group Morrisons, it said on Saturday.

CD&R "notes the press speculation regarding a potential transaction involving Morrisons and confirms that it is considering a possible cash offer for the issued and to be issued share capital of Morrisons," it said in a statement.

It said there was no certainty an offer would be made.

CD&R's statement followed a Sky News report that it had made a preliminary bid approach to the supermarket group's board that could value Morrisons at 5.5 billion pounds ($7.6 billion).

Bradford, northern England-based Morrisons is Britain's fourth-largest grocer by sales, trailing market leader Tesco , Sainsbury's and Asda.

Shares in Morrisons, down 3% over the last year, closed on Friday at 182 pence, valuing the group at 4.33 billion pounds.

A bid for Morrisons would follow Walmart's recent sale of a majority stake in Asda to the Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital.

That deal valued Asda at 6.8 billion pounds and followed Sainsbury's failure to takeover Asda after an agreed deal was blocked by Britain's competition regulator in 2019.

Morrisons has a partnership agreement with Amazon and there has been persistent speculation that it could emerge as a possible bidder. (Reporting by James Davey Editing by Mark Heinrich and Mark Potter)