LONDON, April 3 Top-10 Tesco
shareholder Magellan Financial Group said on Monday it had some
concerns about the firm's 3.7 billion pound ($4.63 billion)
takeover of British wholesaler Booker, but was "strongly
supportive" of the firm's management.
Co-founder Hamish Douglass said he was "neutral" about the
deal as although the deal terms were fair, he had some concerns
about the process of merging both firms, and had voiced his
concerns to Tesco.
"We are not concerned about the financial terms of the
Booker transaction as we assess them to be fair after taking
into account the synergies. Our reservations relate to the
potential distractions and increased complexity of integrating
the businesses," Douglass said in emailed comments.
"We are neutral on the transaction but strongly supportive
of Dave Lewis and the senior management team at Tesco... In our
view Tesco shareholders have a simple decision - are they
prepared to back Dave Lewis or not? Magellan is backing Dave
The support comes as fellow top Tesco shareholders Schroders
and Artisan Partners both said last week that they did not
support the deal, calling it expensive and a distraction from
its turnaround plan, and asking for the firm to withdraw its
($1 = 0.7983 pounds)
(Reporting by Simon Jessop, editing by Maiya Keidan)