Australian government gives approval for Saputo's AU$450M takeover offer for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter; Warrnambool shareholders still need to approve deal

AUSTRALIA , November 12, 2013 () – TAKEOVER target Warrnambool Cheese and Butter has urged shareholders to accept a buyout bid from Canadian diary giant Saputo after the foreign suitor won a green light from the Government.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey yesterday unconditionally approved Saputo’s $450 million takeover offer for the Australian dairy processor, saying Australia welcomed overseas interest.

Analysts said the decision also hinted at a positive outcome for US food giant Archer Daniels Midlands which has invested millions in a separate campaign to buy Australian producer GrainCorp.

Mr Hockey said the ownership of Warrnambool – which is also being pursued by Bega Cheese and farmer co-operative Murray Goulburn – was a matter for its shareholders, but the Government’s decision provided some certainty around the offer.The Saputo offer is currently the best on the table at $8 a share.

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