Business Secretary Lord Grimstone said UK companies were performing better under foreign control and insisted there was nothing to fear from the surge of overseas bids for the chain. Morrisons supermarkets.

Lord Gerry Grimstone – the former vice chairman of Barclays – said British companies bought out by foreign groups are “more productive”, hire more staff and export more.

It comes amid a flurry of overseas deals for UK listed companies, with retail giant Morrisons at the center of a bidding war and buyout struggles also in courses for Meggitt and Ultra defense contractors.

Business reception in Downing Street

Lord Grimstone said the UK should not fear takeovers of UK companies abroad (Stefan Rousseau / PA)

Lord Grimstone told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “People buy businesses to make them succeed; to make them expand.

“All of our research shows that companies investing overseas in the UK are more productive… they generate more jobs than UK companies, they generate more intellectual property and they export more.

He added: “Foreign investment is vital to the UK’s economic performance.

“I don’t think we should be afraid of overseas investments – we should grab them because of the economic impact they have on our country.”

But it comes as Morrisons pension administrators have warned that the takeover by one of its top two contenders could “significantly weaken” pension security.

Morrisons board said last week it had agreed to a £ 7 billion takeover by US private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R).

The offer usurped a previously agreed £ 6.7 billion deal with a consortium led by private equity rival Fortress.

Lord Grimstone’s comments follow the announcement that the government will hold an international investment summit in October to attract foreign investment to the UK.

On concerns over the fall of British businesses into foreign hands, he said: “It would be a sad day for this country if we shut down the shutters so that we are not a mercantile corporate country,” he said. he declares.


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