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Morrisons Boss Forecasts 'Biblical' Christmas 2021

The boss of Morrisons, the UK's fourth largest supermarket group, has forecast "biblical" Christmas demand this year as Britons will be keen to meet-up in bigger numbers having been thwarted by COVID restrictions last year.

"Christmas is going to be biblical because I genuinely think that customers want to meet in bigger groups," Chief Executive David Potts told Reuters after Morrisons published first-half results.

'Big Christmas'

"We've got Christmas down as a big Christmas ahead for the industry, for us, for the country," he said.

He noted that people are already buying "little and often for Christmas."

Takeover Battle

The $10 billion takeover battle for British supermarket group Morrisons between two U.S. private equity groups looks set to be decided by a rarely used auction process.

Morrisons said on Wednesday it was in talks with Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), Fortress Investment Group and Britain's takeover regulator about an auction to settle its future.

Last month, Morrisons agreed a £7 billion ($9.6 billion) offer from CD&R, which has former Tesco boss Terry Leahy as a senior adviser.

However, the rival consortium led by Softbank-owned Fortress could still trump that bid.

The fight for Britain's fourth-largest grocer after Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, is the most high-profile looming takeover amid a raft of bids and counter bids, reflecting private equity's appetite for UK Plc.

News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern Checkout. For more Retail stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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