Morrisons deal under fire as more shareholders speak out

Two Morrisons shareholders have publicly rejected a 254p-a-share buyout of the supermarket, claiming it “falls short” of market expectations.

J O Hambro, which holds a three per cent stake, and another investor who did not want to be named, put a 270p-a-share price tag on the Big 4 grocer.

It comes just hours after Morrisons’ biggest shareholder, Silchester International, said there was “little” to recommend the proposed sale.

Shareholder scepticism represents a setback to the supermarket’s board, who this month recommended the takeover by a group led by private equity firm Fortress.

READ MORE: Morrisons to bring electric car chargers to Scottish stores

Morrisons’ chief executive, chief operating officer and chief financial officer are in line to make a combined £35 million from the deal.

“We reiterate our view that any offer for the group approaching 270p-a-share merits engagement and consideration,” J O Hambro said.

“With the share price as high as 269p in the last week, we believe the market shares this sentiment.”

The £29 billion asset management company is Morrisons’ eighth-largest shareholder.

The other investor told the Daily Mail: “I think the price is not at all compelling – I will not be accepting it. 

“I would hope for something better than 270p. 

‘When companies are taken private there should be a premium and Morrison is an undervalued share.”

Another shareholder, Legal & General, has warned that buyers might look to take advantage of the grocer’s undervalued property portfolio.

While its properties have been priced at £5.87 billion, some analysts believe they could be worth up to £9 billion.

Shareholders will vote on the Fortress deal on August 16, which needs 75 per cent support to pass.

The private equity firm has recently signed up Singaporean wealth fund GIC to its consortium, potentially providing the firepower to up its £6.3 billion bid.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which made a 230p-a-share offer in June, has until August 9 to improve its offer.

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