The British supermarket group Morrisons has been sold to a US private equity company in a deal reported to be worth £7bn (€8.2m).

Morrisons are the fourth largest supermarket group in Britain, with approximately 500 stores mainly located in northern England and Scotland.

They had a presence in Northern Ireland for a time when they acquired the Safeway stores, before selling on to Asda.

This is the second sale of a UK supermarket group to venture capitalists following the takeover of Asda this time last year.

The conclusion of this sale has pushed the Tesco and Sainsbury’s share price higher, as speculation grows that they too are attractive to venture capitalists who currently have funds to invest.

Although there are current difficulties, particularly in the south east of England, with supplies and concerns for Christmas trade, supermarkets have prospered during the pandemic.

Food sales in particular increased as out of home food consumption collapsed during lockdown, replaced by food bought in and consumed at home.