United Kingdom

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

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A Morrisons store is pictured in St Albans, Britain, September 10, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - British money manager M&G (MNG.L) has added to the voices criticising a proposed private equity takeover of British supermarket chain Morrisons (MRW.L), saying it does not reflect the true value of the company.

Morrisons this month agreed to a takeover led by SoftBank Group Corp-owned (9984.T) 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. read more

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 Ramnarayan Editing by Jane Merriman and David Holmes

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