Saputo looking to take full control of WCB

Saputo looking to take full control of WCB

Saputo has raised its offer to minority shareholders in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, the Australian firm in which the Canada-based dairy group, holds a majority stake.

In a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange, Saputo, which holds an 88% stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, announced it had upped its offer from the AUD8.85 a share it tabled last month to AUD9.05.

Saputo also said its new offer was "unconditional". The company's first offer was conditional on being accepted by shareholders representing at least 90% of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory's outstanding share capital.

The new offer is set to close at 19:00 Melbourne time on Monday 6 March.

According to a report from The Australian newspaper today, there is speculation Australian dairy group Lion is set to accept to the latest bid and sell its 10.2% stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory.

However, the newspaper said the latest offer may not be accepted from activist investor Sandon Capital, which had been looking for Saputo to include a fully-franked dividend.

Saputo acquired a majority stake in WCB in 2014 after a takeover battle against Australian firms Bega Cheese and Murray Goulburn.