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GIC joins Fortress-led Morrisons takeover bid

The bid for the UK supermarket chain could now be provided with extra firepower to raise its offer if required

GIC, a Singapore investment firm, has joined the £6.3bn Fortress-led consortium bid for Morrisons.

A filing on the London Stock Exchange revealed that GIC will join the efforts of Oppidum Bidco, a newly formed company indirectly owned by funds managed by Fortress, as an additional co-investor.

In turn, the bid for the UK supermarket chain could now be provided with extra firepower to raise its offer if required.

Operating over roughly £288bn of assets under management, the sovereign wealth fund told the publication that it was joining the consortium via its Cambourne investment vehicle.

The group’s investment vehicle would support equity by Canada’s Pension Plan Investment Board and Koch Real Estate, as well as £5.57bn in debt underwritten by HSBC and Royal Bank of Canada.

However, the addition of GIC to the consortium follows an earlier setback for the Fortress-led bid.

Silchester International Investors, the supermarket group’s largest shareholder, claimed that it is “not inclined” to support the current 254 pence per share takeover 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.

“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.”

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