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Morrisons’ largest shareholder ‘not inclined’ to back £6.3bn Fortress offer

Currently Morrisons shareholders are set to vote on the Fortress offer on the 16 August

Morrison’s largest shareholder Silcherster has said it is “not inclined” to support the £6.3bn takeover that has been accepted by the company’s board. 

The investment firm, which owns a 15.1% stake in the ‘Big Four’ Grocer, has said it believes more time should be given for a rival bid to be made that may better the current offer. 

In a statement, it said: “In this particular case, the scheme of arrangement has enabled the adoption of a short timetable, giving insufficient opportunity for competing bids to emerge.”

It also added: “Furthermore, on the basis of publicly available information, there is little in the recommended offer that could not be achieved by Morrison as a listed company. As a listed company, all benefits accrue to public shareholders.”

Currently, Morrisons shareholders are set to vote on the Fortress offer on 16 August.

The news comes as American private equity firm Clayton Dubliner and Rice (CD&R) is reportedly considering making a second bid for UK supermarket chain Morrisons. 

According to The Times, CD&R is said to be working on a financial package with JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas.

CD&R failed with a £5.5bn bid last month which valued Morrisons at 230 pence per share for the entire share capital of the group.

However, following a valuation with the supermarket chain’s financial adviser, Rothschild and Co, it was “unanimously concluded” that the deal “significantly undervalued” the Morrisons brand. In turn the supermarket’s board confirmed that it had “rejected the conditional proposal” on 17 June 2021.

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