Morrisons must give raiders the brush off

Morrisons Wincanton. Under threat?

The Blog rarely comments on national news stories, but this has very local ramifications as well.

Morrisons have received a £5.5 billion takeover bid from a US Venture capital outfit called Clayton Dubilier and Rice, with former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy leading the charge to trouser vast profits, commissions and rakeoffs.

This has all the fingerprints of an elaborate scam which will crucify employees, customers, suppliers and pensioners.

It works like this. It order to raise the money to fund the deal, the US bidders will raise money against the security of the assets they are acquiring, and Morrisons will be left encumbered with vast debts. As a result, the new US owners will turn on the heat to make a hefty return on capital, to the detriment of prices, wages and suppliers (some of whom are local farmers and food processors). Bring on the chlorinated chicken!

Hysteria? consider the takeover of Manchester united by the Glazers, who borrowed huge sums against Man U’s collateral and paid themselves generous dividends as a bonus, without a single goal being scored.

Or unloved Kraft, who took over Cadbury’s and broke their promises regarding UK production, employees and tax status before the ink was hardly dry on the takeover agreement.

If this deal goes ahead, Morrisons will probably become  a private company and totally unaccountable, except to its US owners.

We hope shareholders will repel boarders and that the Government will stop this transfer of a very British enterprise to a dodgy US bidder.

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