The investment consortium behind a recommended £6.3 billion bid for Morrisons is being tipped to see off other potential suitors after giving commitments to preserve the legacy of its founding family (The Times £). The New York-based private equity group Apollo Global Management is among the potential counter-bidders circling Morrisons after the supermarket group recommended a £6.3bn offer from an American consortium over the weekend (The Guardian). Supermarket shares were set to rise on the London Stock Exchange today as a full-scale bidding war for Morrisons erupted over the weekend (The Daily Mail).

The board of Morrisons has accepted a £6.3 billion takeover offer from an investor consortium led by private equity firm Fortress, leaving other suitors wondering whether to launch a counter-bid for Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket chain (The Times £). A trio of private investment groups led by SoftBank-owned Fortress have struck a £9.5bn deal to acquire Wm Morrison, Britain’s fourth-largest supermarket chain (The Financial Times). A US buyout consortium has agreed a £9.5bn takeover deal of Morrisons as a feeding frenzy for Britain’s biggest ­grocers intensifies (The Telegraph). Supermarket giant Morrisons has agreed a blockbuster £6.3billion sale of the business to a consortium of investors backed by the US billionaire Koch family and Japanese mogul Masayoshi Son (The Daily Mail). Chairman Andrew Higginson said the board believed the offer “represents a fair and recommendable price for shareholders which recognises Morrisons’ future prospects” (Sky News, The BBC). If it succeeds, the bid for the UK’s fourth largest supermarket would be the biggest private equity deal since the £11bn takeover of Boots in 2007 (The Guardian).

How US funds won latest supermarket sweep with shock Morrisons deal – Rival bidders could still upset Fortress’s attempt to bag the UK grocer as the sector attracts overseas interest. (The Telegraph)

Morrisons takeover saga could bring lots more twists before it’s in the bag, writes The Guardian. “At Morrisons, the board has given its blessing at a price that is credible, in conventional terms, but cannot be called a stunner. The company is probably doomed to lose its independence, but the takeover saga may yet deliver more twists.” (The Guardian)

The value of the recommended bid for Morrisons by Fortress Investment Group cannot be judged purely on the usual metrics like multiples of earnings and property assets. It must also be assessed on what the new owners plan to do with the business (The Times £).

The bid for Morrisons has brought together some of America’s most powerful business people — including the owner of Aston Villa football club. Leading the pack is Fortress, a private equity group owned by Japan’s SoftBank, which bought it in 2017 for $3.3bn. Fortress was founded in 1998 by partners including Wesley Edens, who is a majority shareholder in Aston Villa (The Times £). The potential new owners of Morrisons are based a long way from the supermarket’s headquarters in Bradford, Yorkshire. Koch Industries, one of the deal’s key backers, was founded by two of America’s richest men, Charles Koch and his younger brother David, whose shares were inherited by his widow and children upon his death in 2019 (The Guardian).

Fortress’s move is the latest development in a sea change in the British supermarket industry. With stubbornly low share prices, yet healthy cash generation and big property portfolios, supermarkets have become vulnerable to private equity firms. (The Times £)

Morrisons must not be sold on the cheap as British grocers roar back, writes Matthew Lynn in The Telegraph: “When the private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice tabled a £5.5bn offer for the supermarket chain Morrisons last month, the company appeared prepared to fight to the death to maintain its independence.” (The Telegraph)

Sainsbury’s is launching a fresh round of price cuts in the latest onslaught against its rivals as supermarkets battle it out to win customers (The Telegraph).

Asda will introduce a permanent hybrid working model for thousands of head office staff once social distancing restrictions are lifted (The Times £). Asda has become the latest company to embrace hybrid working after it told office staff in Leeds and Leicester that they can work from wherever they want permanently (The Telegraph). Asda will allow its 4,000 head office staff to choose where they work when lockdown measures are lifted, with options to remain at home, return to the office, or opt for an alternative location such as one of the retailer’s stores or depots (The Guardian). Asda will allow its head office staff to work where they like – while their frontline colleagues will still go into stores and depots as they have throughout the pandemic (The Daily Mail).

John Lewis has used property from Waitrose to underpin its pension schemes after the value of the chain’s stores fell during lockdown (The Telegraph).

John Lewis is considering plans to build 10,000 homes over the next decade as the high street store group looks to revive its flagging fortunes by becoming a landlord (The Guardian). John Lewis has announced plans to move into the residential property market by building 10,000 homes for rental over the next few years (The BBC).

GlaxoSmithKline has mounted a staunch defence of its strategy and rejected demands from an activist investor to reconsider whether Dame Emma Walmsley is the right person to lead the drugmaker (The Times £). Major investors are lining up behind embattled GlaxoSmithKline chief Emma Walmsley in her fight with activist investor Elliott Management (The Daily Mail).

Disgruntled Diageo shareholders are lobbying the drinks giant to bring back its vodka-based Pimm’s after this lesser-spotted version was axed during the pandemic. (The Daily Mail)

Carlos Brito, who stepped down from Anheuser-Busch InBev this week aged 61, is already planning a long second act. “Brito 2.0” could involve another quarter-century of working, said the Brazilian businessman who spent three decades at the brewer. (The Financial Times £)

Petrol is at its highest price for nearly eight years after eight consecutive months of increases at the pumps, figures from the RAC show. (Sky News)

Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, is in danger of being hoisted by his own petard after the pub company’s employees threatened to print thousands of beer mats demanding extra bank holiday pay. (The Times £)

What the future holds for Amazon as Bezos leaves top job – After almost three decades of rapid expansion, disruption and transformation, he will finish his run as chief executive of Amazon next week (The Times £). Bezos steps down from Amazon on Monday - exactly 27 years after he founded it. In that time he has developed a series of unusual leadership principles - which some argue are the backbone of his success. Others believe they speak to everything that is wrong with Big Tech (The BBC).

A Hong Kong beverage maker’s shares had their biggest ever slump, after calls in China for a boycott of the firm. Shares in Vitasoy fell by as much as 14.6%, the biggest single-day drop since its listing in 1994. (The BBC)