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Morrisons to be sold off at auction this weekend in £7 billion takeover battle

There are big changes on the horizon for Morrisons…

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Russel Wills / Geograph

The fight to buy Morrisons will be taken to auction this weekend, the supermarket chain has confirmed. 

Private equity giants Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) and Fortress Investment Group have been battling it out for the supermarket for the last few months, but will go head-to-head in a one-day auction this weekend on October 2nd to settle the matter for good.

CD&R started its pursuit of Morrisons, which is Britain’s fourth largest supermarket, back in June, making it the first company to offer a deal.

Fortress then offered a massive £6.3 billion a month later in July.

Geograph

However, shareholders felt offer was too low and Fortress, owner of Majestic Wines, returned a month later with an increased offer of £6.7billion, which the board accepted. But not one’s to back down, CD&R returned with an increased bid of £7billion later that month, which the board accepted.

Given that neither bidder had declared its offer final, however, the parties have since agreed to partake in an auction process to settle the outcome.

But what will the sale mean for the future of Morrisons?

While experts have warned that Morrisons could be ‘broken up’ if sold, CD&R said it ‘will support Morrisons in further building on these strengths’ and suggested it had no plans to sell off its freehold stores, according to The Mirror.

Mikey / Flickr

Morrisons was founded as an egg and butter market in Bradford by William Morrison in 1899. It grew into a full-fledged supermarket and stayed local to the North of England until it bought out the former Safeway stores in 2004.

Now it has almost 500 supermarkets across England, Wales and Scotland, and even one in Gibraltar.

As well as the supermarkets, Morrisons also owns petrol stations, food factories and depots, and employs over 100,000 members of staff.

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Morrisons becomes first supermarket to cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff who have to isolate

Morrisons has become the latest retailer to announce the controversial policy

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Jim Barton / Geograph & @morrisons / Instagram

Morrisons has confirmed it has cut sick pay for unvaccinated staff members who have to self-isolate after being exposed to Covid.

Following Ikea’s decision to lower the sick pay rate for unvaccinated staff members last week, the supermarket chain has made a similar announcement as their staff absences continue to rise.

Much like those employed by the Swedish furniture retailer, unjabbed Morrisons workers – who usually get paid at least £10 an hour – will now get statutory sick pay of £96.35 a week if they are told to isolate but test negative.

@morrisons / Instagram

Covid-positive staff will get full sick pay regardless of vaccination status, however.

According to The Guardian, Morrisons executive Dave Potts first mentioned the policy in a conference call with investors in September 2021 as part of a plan to tackle the ‘biblical costs’ of dealing with the Covid pandemic.

Potts said Morrison’s had been on the ‘front foot’ in helping workers stay safe during the pandemic, saying: “We are normalising some of those policies.”

The newspaper reported that this move was the supermarket’s way of encouraging their staff to take the vaccine.

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The requirement for fully-vaccinated people to isolate when exposed to Covid was dropped in England in August, meaning unvaccinated workers were more likely to take time off than their vaccinated colleagues as a Covid contact.

And just one week ago, the health secretary announced that the Covid isolation period had been reduced from seven days to five.

Sajid Javid revealed the move in a Commons statement to MPs last week, citing data from the UK Health Security Agency and saying: “Two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five.”

This means people will be able to leave isolation if they test negative on days five and six regardless of vaccination status.

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Aldi shoppers claim new 69p tea is ‘better than sleeping pills’ as well as helping with anxiety

The tea has been praised by a number of sleep-deprived Aldi customers

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Debbie Blayney / Facebook

Insomniacs, rejoice; Aldi customers have been hailing one of the supermarket’s teas as ‘better than sleeping pills’.

And, better yet, a box of the tea itself costs just 69p for twenty teabags.

Aldi’s Diplomat Night Time tea was brought to the attention of fans of the budget supermarket in the Aldi UK Shoppers Facebook group courtesy of a shopper called Debbie.

Debbie Blayney / Facebook

Debbie shared a photo of the tea, which is passionfruit flower, camomile and apple flavoured, and revealed that she was trying it for the first time ‘to see if it works’. 

Debbie’s post was inundated with comments from other satisfied customers, with one writing: “I tried for the first time last night and slept so well!!

“It could of [sic] been the 16,000 steps I did as well and my lavender pillow mist spray or just being knackered. It tasted lovely and would highly recommend it.”

Another even said the tea helped with their anxiety, writing: “I’ve been taking the sleep one since 2 days ago and honestly it works better than sleeping pills and also works on my anxiety levels so I drink a cup here and then during the day…. And the taste is lovely too!!”

Debbie Blayney / Facebook

Sadly, Debbie didn’t quite get the experience she was hoping for with the tea, saying in a follow up post that while it made her feel more relaxed, it made her ‘want to wee twice’. 

Another person agreed that while the tea tastes lovely, it didn’t have the desired knock-out effect they’d hoped for, writing: “Soooo tired this morning. But I will give it the benefit of doubt and stick with it!

“I will either be a walking zombie by next weekend or I will be full of beans! Time will tell! On a plus note, it tastes lovely!”

Visit the Aldi website for more information on the tea.

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Shocking footage emerges of mass brawl involving ‘100 school kids’ in Piccadilly Gardens McDonald’s

Footage of the incident shows a teenager been dragged along the floor

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Ardfern & Ilovetheeu / Wikimedia Commons

New footage has emerged showing the dramatic moment a mass brawl involving ‘100 school kids’ broke out in the Piccadilly Gardens McDonald’s. 

At around 5pm on Friday evening (January 14th), a large group of teenagers descended upon the fast food restaurant and began fighting, causing crowds to gather and security and police to intervene.

Two of the teenagers had seemingly started fighting in the restaurant, which ultimately encouraged the crowd to gather and join in.

The shocking brawl was caught on camera, with the footage showing one person being dragged across the floor, while others screamed and fell among the crowds.

Marcon

Police attended the scene and arrested a sixteen-year-old, who has since been released under investigation. 

A dispersal order – giving police the power to disperse crowds and individuals from an area to prevent public nuisance – was put in place around Piccadilly Gardens until last night.

In a statement over the weekend, GMP said: “Police were called to Piccadilly Gardens at 5pm last night, Friday, to reports of a disturbance, involving a large number of young people.

“Officers attended, and found that a group of around 100 young people, mostly school children, were involved in fighting.

“During the incident, a number of missiles were thrown at officers, and some police equipment has been damaged beyond repair.

“A sixteen-year-old was arrested on suspicion of affray and has been released under investigation.”

Supt Critchley added: “This kind of anti-social behaviour, which caused a huge amount of disruption for members of the public trying to get home on a Friday, as well as businesses, will not be tolerated.

“I acknowledge that a lot of those involved last night are young, and may have been easily swept up in what was happening, however due to the disruption caused, we will be working to identify all those involved using CCTV as well as officer’s body worn video footage, and hold them accountable.

“It’s worth noting that a number of those involved were wearing school uniform at the time.

“If you or anyone you know may have seen anything that could help with our enquiries, or have CCTV or dash-cam footage of the area at the time, please get in touch with police.”

Anyone with information can contact GMP via their website or by calling 101, quoting log number 2054 of 14/01/22.

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