The proposed £9.5bn takeover of Wm Morrisons has been thrown into jeopardy after the supermarket group’s largest shareholder blasted the Fortress-led bid.

UK asset manager Silchester, which owns more than 15 per cent of Morrisons, broke its silence on the deal on Tuesday, saying that it was “not inclined to support the existing Fortress offer” at a shareholder meeting next month.

The takeover needs the support of 75 per cent of shareholders to proceed, a difficult task without Silchester’s support.

Morrisons’ board recommended the Fortress-led offer for the retailer at 252p a share earlier this month, just weeks after rejecting a 230p a share bid from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

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Source: Financial Times

By Attracta Mooney and Jonathan Eley