Saputo now holds more than 26% stake in Australian dairy company Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, up from 21.4%; Saputo previously extended takeover offer for WCB to Jan. 22

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

Jan 13, 2014 – Australian Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia , January 13, 2014 () – Canadian dairy giant Saputo now holds more than 26 per cent of takeover target Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, up from just over 21 per cent.

On Friday, Saputo extended its offer for Warrnambool by 12 days, to 1900 AEDT on January 22. It also said its stake in WCB had increased to 21.392 per cent.

On Monday, it said that stake had now risen to 26.445 per cent.

Saputo 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 WCB at and above 50 per cent.

Saputo's offer is final.

Saputo is vying with Australian dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn for control of Warrnambool.

Murray Goulburn's bid of $9.50 is conditional upon it obtaining more than 50 per cent of Warrnambool shares.

Its offer also is subject to no objection by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or the granting of authorisation by the Australian Competition Tribunal.

Murray Goulburn has a 17.7 per cent stake in Warrnambool.

Bega Cheese, which initiated the takeover battle for Warrnambool but pulled out of the contest when its bid lapsed on December 20, holds 18.8 per cent of Warrnambool.

Shares in Warrnambool were one cent lower at $9.20 at 1037 AEDT.

AAP tsc/cdh

(c) 2014 Australian Associated Press

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