The frenzied bidding war for Australia’s oldest dairy processor Warrnambool Cheese and Butter is far from over.
Last week saw all three players, Canadian dairy giant Saputo and Australian dairy processors Murray Goulburn and Bega Cheese increase their bid.
But Bega Cheese Executive Chair, Barry Irvin, says their revised bid is their final offer.
“We thought that we’d come to the point where we needed to indeed make the final offer.”
“We needed to give certainty to the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter shareholders and indeed we needed to demonstrate Bega Cheese shareholders that we had a responsible approach to our bid for Warrnambool,” Mr Irvin says.
Under Federal Corporations Law, once a company declares to the Australian Stock Exchange that they have made a final offer, they are legally bound to this statement.
Barry Irvin will lead a team from Bega Cheese on a road show to South Australia and Victoria to pitch their offer to WCB shareholders this week.
“We will have a number of open public meetings.”
“The way that we’ll approach this is that we think that Bega Cheese has got a great track record in terms of creating business value, contributing to the community, creating opportunities to staff, building strong relationships with it’s farmers,” Mr Irvin says.
Late last week that company made their final offer of 1.5 shares plus $2 per share, making the value of their unconditional bid the highest at $9.13 per share at close of trade for the week ending Friday the 15th of November.
After a trading halt on that Friday, Canadian Dairy Giant, Saputo upped their bid to a $9 per share and declared unconditional that evening.
Meanwhile, Australian dairy giant Murray Goulburn’s revised bid of $9 a share rests on Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approval and has flagged that they are open to future bidding.