()’s suitor Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has been given more time to put forward a new offer for the grocer.
The private equity group has until 20 August to either do that or leave the bidding war, the takeover panel ruled, although the original deadline was today.
The news comes days after US private equity giant Fortress came in with a new proposal, valuing the FTSE 250 group at £6.7bn 270p per share, plus a 2p special dividend.
Also on Friday, Morrisons said that CD&R had asked for more time to reflect on the Fortress offer and rescheduled the court meeting and general meeting to 27 August, from the previously planned 16 August date.
“The surprise 270p raised bid from Fortress on Friday had seemed like quite a clever, but ultimately pointless move, as we thought that CD&R were lining up a 280p counter bid for Morrisons,” said independent analyst Nick Bubb.
“However, it now appears that their move was only going to be at 265p, so CD&R seem to have been badly wrong-footed and the stock market may have second thoughts today about pushing the shares up to circa 278p.”
Shares were flat at 279.4p on Monday afternoon.