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UK's Morrisons plans shareholder vote on CD&R deal in early October

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FILE PHOTO: Shoppers walk past a branch of the food retailer Morrisons in west London, Britain
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(Reuters) - British supermarket chain Morrisons, at the heart of a $9.5 billion bidding war, plans to hold a shareholder vote on the offer from U.S.-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) around Oct. 5, it said on Friday.

The company last week backed a 285 pence per share offer from CD&R, dropping a 272 pence per share bid from a consortium led by SoftBank Group-owned Fortress Investment Group.

The court and shareholder meetings on the Fortress offer, initially scheduled for Friday, have been adjourned to Oct. 5, Britain's fourth-largest grocer said in a statement.

The meetings on the higher CD&R offer are likely to take place on or around the same day. The Morrisons board last week said it intends to unanimously recommend the CD&R offer.

Morrisons' stock price has hovered around the 290 pence level after agreeing to the CD&R offer on Aug. 19, reflecting the possibility that Fortress or any other suitor might come back with another offer.

(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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