Saputo Inc.’s holdout rival in the bidding war for Australia’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter has waved the white flag.
Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Ltd. has agreed to sell its shares in Warrnambool to Montreal-based Saputo, a move that will push Saputo’s majority interest in Warrnambool above the 75-per-cent threshold.
Saputo said on Wednesday it secured majority control of Warrnambool, with a 52.7-per-cent position, essentially ending a months-long fight for control of Warrnambool.
The win for Saputo gives it a key platform from which to sell into Asian markets where demand for dairy products and milk extracts is growing at a rapid clip.
Murray Goulburn’s has a 17.2-per-cent holding in Warrnambool.
Saputo’s offer for Warrnambool rose to $9.20 (Australian) per share from $9.00 when its stake rose above 50 per cent.
With the stake increasing to 75 per cent, Saputo’s offer rises again to $9.40 per share.
Last week, former rival Bega Cheese Ltd. agreed to sell its 18.8 per cent stake to Saputo.