Canadian Manufacturing

Bega Cheese to sell its minority stake in Aussie firm to Saputo

Expects to receive between AU$97.7-million and AU$101-million from Canadian cheese giant



MONTREAL—Saputo Inc. has pulled further ahead in the marathon race to acquire Australia’s oldest dairy processor.

Bega Cheese Ltd. announced it will sell its 18.8 per cent stake in Warrnambool Cheese & Butter to Montreal’s Saputo.

Bega says it expects to receive between AU$97.7-million and AU$101-million, depending on the price paid by the Canadian cheese giant.

Montreal-based Saputo has offered at least AU$9 per Warrnambool share, AU$9.20 if it gets more than half of its stock and even more if it gets a larger majority.

Prior to Bega’s announcement, Saputo had acquired about one-quarter of Warrnambool’s stock.

The Canadian cheese company continues to face one rival, Australia’s Murray Goulburn, which owns about 17.7 per cent of Warrnambool.

Murray Goulburn is offering AU$9.50 per WCB share but on condition it gets approval from Australia’s competition watchdog.

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