Canadian dairy firm Saputo has increased its stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter to almost 18 per cent.
Saputo and Australian dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn are the two companies still battling for control of Warrnambool Cheese, after Bega Cheese recently allowed its bid to lapse.
Saputo said on Tuesday it now holds 17.92 per cent per cent of Warrnambool shares.
However, 13.35 per cent of those shares remain subject to withdrawal rights, with investors who accepted Saputo’s offer before December 17 allowed to withdraw their acceptance before January 3.
Murray Goulburn holds a 17 per cent stake in Warrnambool.
Saputo is offering $9.00 per Warrnambool share, but under changes to its bid made on December 17, that price will increase to as much as $9.60 as its stake in the company increases.
Saputo’s current bid is final.
Murray Goulburn’s bid of $9.50 is conditional upon it obtaining more than 50 per cent of Warrnambool shares.
Shares in Warrnambool were steady at $9.25 at 1050 AEDT.