French dairy group Lactalis, the majority owner of Parmalat, has launched a voluntary tender offer to take full control of the Italian dairy business.

In a statement released late last month (27 December), Lactalis said it would offer EUR2.80 (US$2.90) per share for the shares it does not already hold in Parmalat.

Lactalis, which held an 87.74% stake in Parmalat at the time the tender was issued, said that it aims to de-list Parmalat from the Milan stock exchange. “After more than five years as leading shareholder of Parmalat, Lactalis Group intends to provide Parmalat with a new dynamic, which can be more easily and effectively achieved in the long term without recourse to the stock market,” the privately-owned French group noted. 

Lactalis initially took an 83.3% stake in Parmalat in 2011 for EUR3.4bn. The company stressed the current tender offer price “has never been reached after 2011” and noted it represents a premium of more than 11% of the average weighted trading price for the past month and almost 15% of the last three-month average price. 

However, Parmalat shares closed at EUR3 in Milan yesterday (2 January). According to local media reports, investor Amber Capital, which holds around 3% of Parmalat’s shares, has indicated it will not take up the current tender offer. 

Amber Capital and Lactalis were not immediately available for comment.