LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s farmers union said it was encouraged by the undertakings pledged by the Fortress Investment Group-led consortium that has agreed to takeover Morrisons, the country’s fourth biggest supermarket group.
On Saturday, Morrisons recommended Fortress’s 6.3 billion pound ($8.73 billion) offer, saying it was a suitable owner.
Two other private equity companies, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) and Apollo Global Management, are also considering offers.
Fortress has said it fully supports the relationships Morrisons has fostered with its farmers and does not anticipate any material changes to existing payment practices with them.
Morrisons says it is British farming’s biggest customer.
“This is a developing situation and we will be keeping a close watch over any potential takeover of Morrisons,” said National Farmers Union President Minette Batters.
“It is encouraging that the potential buyer has recognised the significant role Morrisons plays as British farming’s biggest direct customer and that they have committed to continue with Morrisons’ strategic intentions to support British farmers and work with them to deliver on the business’ environmental commitments,” she said.
“Sourcing from British farms has long been part of Morrisons heritage and it is reassuring that the potential buyer wishes to continue to uphold these core values going forwards.”
($1 = 0.7218 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Michael Holden)