Food In Canada

Bidding war gets hotter: Saputo increases its bid for Australian company

By Food in Canada magazine staff   

Business Operations Saputo Inc.

Saputo has increased its bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co. to AU$9 per share

Montreal – Saputo Inc. has raised its takeover offer for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co. to AU$9 per share – exactly what another bidder offered this week.

Saputo has been bidding against two other rival companies, both of whom are Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory’s shareholders: Murray Goulburn Cooperative Co. and Bega Cheese Limited.

Murray Goulburn raised its offer to AU$9 per share just a couple of days ago. The bids value Warrnambool at AU$505 million ($470 milion), making it the world’s most expensive dairy company on a price-to-earnings basis, reports Reuters Canada.

For Saputo’s bid to be accepted, says Reuters Canada, the company will have to remove all conditions from its offer and shorten its payment terms to five business days.

Warrnambool’s board has recommended the company take Saputo’s offer in the absence of a superior proposal.

Saputo says its offer is higher than Bega Cheese’s final cash offer of AU$8.66. And it’s equal to Murray Goulburn’s AU$9 per share proposal announced on Nov. 13, 2013, which Saputo says remains highly conditional.

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