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Even The Telegraph, Even The Telegraph

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There’s a terrible insistence floating around the commentariat these days. That somehow “we” own all those companies out there. Therefore “we” get to decide who owns them, how they operate and all that.

Nope. You want to own something then you go buy it. You put your money up and then you get to decide how it’s run, And crucially, only if you do that do you get to have an input into who it is sold to:

So the idea that Wall Street mega fund Fortress, and American energy tycoon Charles Koch, are the right investors to continue Sir Ken’s rich legacy is frankly risible.

What in buggery’s it got to do with you, matey?

If you own shares in Morrisons then your pounds have an equal say with those of every other shareholder. If you don’t then it’s not your business, is it?

Aside from how carefully-worded those statements are, the suggestion that these investors can be trusted to honour such loose pledges simply doesn’t stack up. Unless they are legally binding, promises made in the heat of a takeover battle in an attempt to calm political opposition and media scrutiny, rarely stand the test of time.

But there’s no righteousness to the political opposition nor the media scrutiny. The very definition of private property is that you can dispose of it as you wish. So, the current owners of Morrisons can sell it to whomever they wish. If that turns out to be the North Korean Politbureau then so be it. We can deal with the issues over sanctions after they’ve collected their money.

It is, quite simply, nothing to do with someone who spins words for the Telegraph who owns Morrisons. So bugger off.

The mob pursuing Morrisons have no claim on its founders’ rich legacy

Of course they bloody do, they’re willing to pay £6 billion for it.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I used to work as a data analyst at the firms old Thornton Road HQ, periodically I’d get a call to go up to Ken’s office and provide whatever information he required (usually about how much bread was being sold in specific stores). He was a bit humourless to say the least, but treated a young, nervous kid with politeness and kindness. I was sad when he died.

    One thing that he did was made sure that whenever a new store was being built (he had about 60 at that time around 1990) the land the store was built on was owned by a separate company which was wholly owned by Ken Morrison himself and then leased to Morrisons plc. This provided him with a certain level of protection from a boardroom coup, since even if they successfully ousted him he still had a measure of physical control of the stores themselves with rental agreements favourable to Ken Morrison rather than Morrisons plc.

    I’m wondering if that is still in place.

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