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M&G says $8.7 billion Morrisons bid doesn't reflect company's true value

07/29/2021 | 12:35pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: A Morrisons store is pictured in St Albans

LONDON (Reuters) -British money manager M&G has added to the voices criticising a proposed private equity takeover of British supermarket chain Morrisons, saying it does not reflect the true value of the company.

Morrisons this month agreed to a takeover led by SoftBank Group Corp-owned Fortress, which valued Britain's fourth-largest supermarket chain at about 6.3 billion pounds ($8.8 billion) and topped a rival offer from Apollo.

Rupert Krefting, head of corporate finance and stewardship at M&G, which owns a 1.08% stake in Morrisons, said in an emailed statement that Fortress's proposals could be achieved by the supermarket chain while remaining in public ownership.

"The company has experienced a successful management turnaround over the past five years and has a strong balance sheet," Krefting said in the statement.

Earlier this week, Morrisons' largest shareholder Silchester said it was not inclined to support the offer, while top five shareholder Schroders said on Thursday it was still considering its position.

JO Hambro, which owns a 1.93% stake, has also said that the proposed price per share is too low, The Daily Telegraph reported earlier on Thursday.

($1 = 0.7160 pounds)

(Reporting by Abhinav RamnarayanEditing by Jane Merriman and David Holmes)

By Abhinav Ramnarayan

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
M&G PLC 0.39% 205 Delayed Quote.3.56%
SOFTBANK GROUP CORP. 2.76% 6627 End-of-day quote.-17.76%
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