Saputo secures WCB majority

22 Jan, 2014 06:05 AM

CANADA'S Saputo has secured a more than 52 per cent stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, sparking an extension of its offer to February 4 and a price rise.

With Saputo now holding a relevant interest in WCB of 52.7pc, its offer price for WCB also rises from $9 to $9.20 cash per WCB share.

Its offer for the dairy processor was due to close at 7pm AEDT tonight.

However, under the Corporations Act 2001, the offer period has been automatically extended to February 4 due to Saputo's share in WCB rising to more than 50pc and the increase in offer price occurring within the last seven days of the scheduled close of the offer period.

Saputo's offer will now close at 7pm AEDT Tuesday, February 4.

Saputo increased its stake from 47.85pc to 52.7pc after it secured more than 2.7 million WCB shares yesterday.

If Saputo obtains a relevant interest in WCB greater than 75pc, it will increase is offer price again by 20 cents to $9.40/share.

The price rises another 20 cents to $9.60/share if it obtains a more than 90pc stake in WCB during the offer period.

Saputo's success in gaining a majority share in WCB was announced to the ASX this morning.

In reaction to the news, Saputo's rival in the takeover bid for WCB, Murray Goulburn, released a statement saying it would now "commercially assess this development, including in relation to MG's 17.7pc shareholding in WCB".

"MG will not be making any further media statements until such time as a decision has been made and relevant stakeholders advised," the statement said.

As previously reported by FarmOnline, Bega Cheese last week sold its 18.8pc in WCB to Saputo.

WCB shares were trading at $9.45/share at 11am AEDT today.

Date: Newest first | Oldest first


eric hunt
22/01/2014 9:00:08 AM

The game is not over yet. MG is still in the race even though its biggest hurdle is still Australian Government regulators. How dumb is that Mr Treasurer and Mr PM?
22/01/2014 10:00:00 AM

Eric, I fail to see how!!! Given that this Morning(21/1/2014) Saputo had in excess 0f 52% of WCB..
Old Timer of Koroit
22/01/2014 3:54:36 PM

The game is definitely not over yet, in as much as all that Saputo has won is the plant at Allansford (possibly the dearest collection of stainless steel in the world) Now MG will sell out of WCB and the real battle will start. Many WCB shareholder/suppliers took the windfall and sold to Saputo (and good luck to them) but have now no intention of giving the Canadians their milk.
Jock Munro
22/01/2014 4:17:19 PM

The PM and the Treasurer must step in. This stupidity will ruin our Nation.
David Harrison
22/01/2014 5:40:52 PM

I was of the understanding that it had been legislated that no foreign interest could own more than 49% of an Australian business. If I remember correctly, this was implemented back in the days of Bob Hawke/Paul Keating. Have I not remembered correctly, or have the goal posts been moved again? In any case, I find it extremely frustrating that Australians are smart enough to start viable businesses/industries, and then are not prepared to back them, but will willingly sell them to outside interests. We do the hard graft, and then allow someone else to enjoy the cream. Doesn't make sense to me!
23/01/2014 5:56:04 AM

Prominent financial spokesman and economist Ross Greenwood, said on radio this morning when talking about this situation, how poor it was, that the Australian Govt had not had the vision of its NZ counterpart and referred to the ACCC holding up MG's bidding process, even though it originally offered a higher price than Saputo. He said that by contrast, NZ Govt had the vision to see a NZ Co-op, Fonterra, position itself to own NZ milk processing business, so NZ could take the advantage of export opportunities. Could not agree more. Wake up TA and JH, NOW.
s butler
23/01/2014 7:02:58 AM

As a former non dairy farmer shareholder in WCB I took the risk and invested my money.All these people making comments about the sale could have invested in WCB BUT DIDNT.I say put your money where your mouth is.
Bushie Bill
23/01/2014 11:14:56 AM

Do try to keep up, David.
David Harrison
23/01/2014 8:23:26 PM

Bill, I remember the fanfare when this policy was implemented, but I don't recall the changes being pronounced. I suppose it doesn't really matter who made the changes, but it would seem that quite a few of these decisions are kept under the radar. If that makes me slow, so be it.


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