Trading in takeover target Warrnambool Cheese and Butter shares is set to resume after the Victorian company’s board backed an increased offer from Canadian dairy giant Saputo.
Warrnambool on Friday requested a trading halt during the negotiation of a revised offer from Saputo.
The Canadian company later on Friday increased its offer to $9 a share and made it unconditional, so trading should resume on Monday morning.
Warrnambool board chairman Terry Richardson said it was the best proposal for shareholders at present.
“The board has decided to unanimously recommend the revised Saputo offer, in the absence of a superior proposal,” he said in Friday’s statement.
The company originally offered $7 a share before increasing that to $8 and then to $9 late on Friday. Its latest offer matches the one by Australia’s Murray Goulburn Co-operative that values the company at $505 million.
A third bidder, Bega Cheese, increased its original bid of 1.2 of its shares plus $2 cash for each Warrnambool share to 1.5 shares plus $2 in cash, which was worth $8.87 for each Warrnambool share.
Mr Richardson said the board’s support for Saputo’s latest offer reflected the increased cash and certainty compared with rival proposals.