Cheese wars rage on: Saputo increases offer for Australian firm
by The Canadian Press
Saputo willing to pay premium of it acquires 90 per cent share of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter
MONTREAL—Saputo Inc. says it’s willing to pay substantially more for Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) if it can get as much as 90 per cent of its stock.
The Montreal-based company is maintaining its base offer at AU$9 per share but says it will pay as much as AU$9.60 cash per share if it gets at least 90 per cent of WCB’s stock.
The company has faced stiff competition for Warrnambool, which would provide Saputo with an entry into the Australian market and a toehold in the Asia-Pacific region.
That offer was quickly countered by rival Australian bidder Bega Cheese Ltd., and followed soon after by Murray Goulburn Co-operative, Australia’s largest dairy producer.
With Bega backing out of the takeover battle, Saputo and Murray Goulburn have been waging war ever since.
The back and forth between the two firms has seen a number of registered bids that have helped pushed WCB’s value to more than AU$530-million.
—With files from Canadian Manufacturing Daily Staff