LONDON (Reuters) - British grocer WM Morrison
Hedge fund Elliot Associates and other activist investors have built up a stake in the supermarket chain and are pushing for it to sell off some of its freehold properties, the newspaper said on Saturday, citing people familiar with the situation.
A spokesman for Morrisons declined to comment on the story.
Morrisons, Britain's fourth largest grocer which lagged rivals over the Christmas trading period with a 5.6 percent slump in underlying sales, said in September it had launched a review of its property portfolio.
It said then that it planned to continue to hold the majority of its core estate on a freehold basis but would manage its 9 billion pound ($15 billion) property portfolio on more active basis.
The activist investors are pushing for Morrisons to go further and sell freehold properties, said the newspaper.
Elliot Associate's holding in Morrisons is thought to be less than 1 percent.
(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Toby Chopra)