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Morrisons shareholder Schroders still mulling vote on Fortress takeover bid, CEO says

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Una cliente all'uscita del supermercato Morrisons a New Brighton, Gran Bretagna, 5 luglio 2021 REUTERS/Phil Noble/File photo

LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - British money manager Schroders (SDR.L) is still considering how it will vote at upcoming court and shareholder meetings on Fortress Investment Group's attempt to take over supermarket chain Morrisons (MRW.L), its chief executive told Reuters.

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 6.3 billion pounds ($8.8 billion) and topped a rival offer from Apollo.

But its largest shareholder Silchester has said it is not inclined to support the takeover offer. read more

Schroders, which is Morrisons' fifth-largest shareholder with a 4.8% stake, will make its decision known to the company and to the public once made, chief executive Peter Harrison said on Thursday.

"Our portfolio managers tell me that they are still considering their position (on Morrisons). We tend to take our time to make these decisions because these are important companies," he said. "But I am not wanting to comment on it yet because we are still in the midst of doing the work."

Private equity firms, many of which are awash with cash, have been hoovering up British companies in droves, with volumes at a record high this year so far compared with the same period in previous years.

($1 = 0.7168 pounds)

Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan; editing by Tom Wilson

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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