Private equity will rush to more UK companies, warns Sir Terry Leahy

Private equity sharks will take over more ‘dumped’ UK household names, UK supermarket mogul warns behind Morrisons deal

  • Former Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy led Morrisons buyout by Clayton Dubilier & Rice
  • Other companies considered for the takeover include Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and BT
  • Boots owner appointed Goldman Sachs in early December to seek buyer










The mastermind behind the Morrisons takeover has predicted that more household names may be withheld in the coming months.

Sir Terry Leahy – who led the supermarket buyout by Clayton Dubilier & Rice – believes assets are undervalued in the London stock market, making them vulnerable to private equity players and US giants.

Leahy made a name for himself at Tesco where he was Managing Director for 14 years, making the company the largest grocer in the country.

Easy choices: Sir Terry Leahy (pictured) believes many UK surnames are undervalued, making them vulnerable to private equity players and US giants

Other companies that have recently been mentioned for a takeover include Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and BT.

The boots could be the biggest deal of all after its owner appointed Goldman Sachs in early December to seek out a potential buyer.

A sale is expected to reach north of £ 10 billion. Leahy said: “UK stocks are undervalued and require additional investment.

Questions arise as to whether UK listed companies are priced right and whether existing shareholders are rating them correctly.

The comments will thrill boards of directors across the country, with U.S. private equity giants Apollo and Fortress still on the hunt for assets.

Fortress lost in its takeover bid for Morrisons, but partner Joshua Pack said in October: “The UK remains a very attractive investment environment in many ways and we will continue to explore opportunities to help them. strong leadership teams to grow their businesses and create long-term value. ‘

Banking sources say Texas-based Pack should be taken seriously, adding that he has not pulled out of the UK.

Clive Black, Retail Analyst at Shore Capital, said: “All of these companies are at stake, even Tesco is not too big. Private equity has access to huge capital.

UK private equity buyouts have skyrocketed this year, reaching their highest level in 20 years.

So far, the vultures have spent £ 156bn in 2021, with companies like Vectura and Signature Aviation being ripped off.

Asda is also in the hands of private equity, a deal that has seen veteran Stuart Rose return to the limelight as chairman.


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