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Canada's Saputo hikes Warrnambool stake again

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January 9
9:22 PM 2014

Saputo Inc has yet again hiked its stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Ltd, its takeover target. The latest move cemented its standing as the largest shareholder in the Australian dairy producer, according to Business Spectator.

In a statement issued to the Australian Securities Exchange, Warrnambool said the Canadian dairy firm had lifted its holding to 21.392%, from 20.141%. Just yesterday, Saputo was reported to have increased its stake in Warrnambool to 20.141% from 17.923%, the report detailed.

Subsequently, Saputo confirmed that it would extend its $9-per-share ($504 million) takeover bid for Warrnambool. The Canadian firm said the offer period was extended until 1900 AEDT of January 22. Saputo's offer is final, the report stated.

Saputo is competing with Australian dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn for a controlling interest in Warrnambool, the report added.

Murray Goulburn presently has a 17.7% stake in Warrnambool. Bega Cheese holds 18.8% of Warrnambool. Bega started the takeover tussle for Warrnambool but later pulled out of the bid. Japanese food and beverages firm Lion holds about 10%, Business Spectator reported.

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