Finance Finance News Saputo lifts its stake in Warrnambool

Saputo lifts its stake in Warrnambool

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A day before its offer closes, Canadian dairy giant Saputo now has a near 48 per cent stake in takeover target Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory (WCB).

In a statement to the market on Tuesday, Warrnambool said Saputo now had a 47.85 per cent interest in the company.

Saputo’s stake last week rose from 26.45 per cent to about 45.24 per cent after Bega Cheese sold it its 18.8 per cent stake.

The Canadian company’s interest further lifted to 46.17 per cent.

Saputo’s takeover offer for Warrnambool, which is final, closes on January 22.

It is offering an unconditional $9.00 per Warrnambool share, but that price could increase to as much as $9.60 if Saputo attains various share thresholds in Warrnambool at and above 50 per cent.

Murray Goulburn, which has a 17.7 per cent stake in Warrnambool, has also bid to take it over.

Its bid of $9.50 is conditional upon it obtaining more than 50 per cent of WCB shares. It also is subject to no objection by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or the granting of authorisation by the tribunal.

The tribunal’s decision is not expected until late February at the earliest.