Dairy giant Saputo bids for remaining shares of Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter

Canadian diary company Saputo Inc. said on Monday it will make an all-cash takeover offer for the 12 per cent of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter it does not already own, valuing the company at 682-million Australian dollars ($676-million Canadian).
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The $8.85 (Australian) per-share offer announced by Saputo in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange is a 24.8 per cent premium to Warrnambool’s Friday closing price of $7.09.
Saputo, which already owns 88.02 per cent of Warrnambool shares, said it will fund the acquisition from cash on hand and existing credit facilities.
“Saputo have been aiming for full ownership, but there has been that block stake there for a while,” said Michael Harvey, senior dairy analyst at Rabobank.
Saputo acquired its majority stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter in 2014, beating local rivals Murray Goulburn Ltd. and Bega Cheese Ltd. in one of Australia’s most hotly contested takeover battles.
Saputo’s offer is the latest in a series of M&A deals in the Australian dairy industry this year.
Bega earlier this month agreed a $460-million deal to acquire Mondelez International’s grocery brands in Australia and New Zealand.
Saputo is scheduled to report its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday.
Source: TheGlobeMail
Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com//report-on-business/international-business/asian-pacific-business/canadas-saputo-makes-bid-for-rest-of-australias-warrnambool-cheese-and-butter/article33820587/?cmpid=rss1&click=sf_globe

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