A bidding war is set to take place this weekend for the right to own Morrisons after the company was put up for sale. 

The supermarket chain, which has two stores in Swindon – one on Thames Avenue and one on Eldene Drive – will have two private equity giants bidding for it. 

Fortress and Clayton and Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) will now be submitting formal bids for the first round of five, starting today. 

A result will be announced by Monday morning, although the process could also be scrapped if either side state they will not increase their current offers.

Both sides have been keen to stress they want to uphold the supermarket’s values and have attempted to ward off suggestions they will start selling off vast swathes of the company’s freeholds.

Supermarkets typically lease properties, while Morrisons continues to own around 90 per cent of its estate.

There have also been concerns that any new owner may reduce the supermarket’s tax bill, with off-shore shell companies set up ahead of the takeover.

The chain had a third Swindon store in Regent Circus, which closed in November 2019 after a consultation period.