Morrisons falls after UBS confirms placing

LONDON Wed May 22, 2013 11:36am BST

A Morrisons sign is seen outside a supermarket in north London March 14, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

A Morrisons sign is seen outside a supermarket in north London March 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor

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LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in Britain's No.4 grocer Wm Morrison Supermarkets fell 3 percent on Wednesday after UBS confirmed it had placed around 100 million shares in the firm at 280 pence for an institutional seller.

The sale represents a 4.4 percent stake in Morrisons and is equivalent to eight days worth of volume. The shares, which closed at 289.30 pence on Tuesday, traded at 280.9 pence at 1024 GMT.

The seller of the holding was not immediately known.

However, the size of the disposal closely tallied with a holding owned by Walter Scott & Partners Ltd. That firm declined to comment.

The placing comes less than a week after Morrisons said it would invest more than 200 million pounds ($303 million) in a 25-year deal with online grocer Ocado, as it seeks to catch up with rivals in home delivery.

Some analysts have questioned the logic of the deal for Morrisons.

Shore Capital analyst Clive Black said it was "a potential waste of capital that does not yet credibly lead to a profitable grocery online business." ($1 = 0.6604 British pounds)

(Reporting by David Brett and Toni Vorobyova; additional reporting by James Davey)

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