Exclusive: Some employees claim that private equity investors are pressuring them to save a failing company.
Private equity investors who operate Morrisons have requested thousands of pounds in personal investments from hundreds of employees, ranging from shop managers upward.
Over 800 employees have reportedly been asked to invest in the struggling store in recent months. According to a reliable source, departmental directors were each asked for £25,000 while middle management level departmental heads were asked for £10,000 each. It is understood that a $2000 minimum commitment was needed to join.
Even though donations were entirely optional, the source claimed that some employees felt pressured to contribute money to a failing company at a time when the cost of living was skyrocketing.
People are accustomed to receiving bonuses rather than being required to invest, according to the source.
But it is believed that individuals who agreed to invest in Morrisons shares received a special bonus, which is equal to 60% of the amount they were asked to invest before taxes, with many of them believed to have put more.
More than 800 employees, or more than 90% of those who were eligible, took advantage of the opportunity to invest in Morrisons’ future, according to a spokeswoman.
According to an expert, it is typical to encourage employees to invest as part of private equity deals, with the stakes being considered as an incentive to support the expansion of the company.
The wider-than-usual reach of the Morrisons program, he added, could be seen as a positive because it would allow more individuals to profit from a potential return on their investment, even though it is less common to urge rank-and-file employees to participate.
The retailer, which was acquired by the US private equity company Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) in a deal worth approximately £7 billion last year, was supplanted by German discounter Aldi last week as the fourth-largest grocery chain in the UK.
Morrisons’ market share has been declining since it is adding relatively little additional space and because polls indicate that its prices have risen relative to its main rivals.
In the three months leading up to September 4, sales decreased by 4.1%, despite Waitrose being the only big supermarket that had a rise.
“The stats seem terrible,” one insider in the sector remarked. They appear to have missed several opportunities, and [the product] doesn’t appear to be particularly fascinating. According to the source, suppliers were losing hope as the amount of merchandise sold by
Trevor Strain, David Potts’ right-hand man, is believed to have informed the company that he intended to depart to pursue a high position elsewhere. After joining Morrisons in 2009, a source claimed Strain was unable to commit to staying at the company for an additional five years to see out CD&R’s investment plan.
Morrisons issued a warning in April that the cost of living issues and market disruption brought on by the conflict in Ukraine will likely have a considerable negative impact on its profitability this year.
The grocery store chain claimed that since the start of February, “developments in the geopolitical climate” and “ongoing and escalating inflationary pressure” have had an impact on consumer morale and spending.
To safeguard a wholesale supply arrangement with the chain, the retailer also just purchased McColl’s network of more than 1,000 convenience store outlets from the administration. Before its bankruptcy, McColl’s had been experiencing financial strain for some time.
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