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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Australia to order Saputo to raise WCB bid -report, (TSE: SAP.TO)

Australia's Takeovers Panel will order Canadian dairy Saputo Inc to raise its bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter as early as this week, a report by Business Spectator said. The story, posted on the website of The Australian newspaper, said the panel would order Saputo to raise its offer to A$9.56 a share from A$9. Saputo said last month it would raise it to A$9.20 in cash if it won more than 50 percent acceptances for its offer.Montreal-based Saputo is in a three-way battle with Australian rivals Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd and Bega Cheese Ltd for Warrnambool, which is Australia's oldest dairy company. Acquisition of WCB is seen as strategic for Saputo, which would gain a platform for sales into China.The Takeovers Panel put Saputo's bid on hold on Nov. 29, ruling that it must stop processing acceptances for its offer.Murray Goulburn and Bega Cheese Ltd argue that Saputo's revised offer reduces proposed dividends by A$1.31 per share and means shareholders will not have access to A$0.56 in franking credits, or tax credits used to reduce tax payable on dividend distributions.

Saputo Inc. produces, markets and distributes an array of dairy products in Canada, the United States, Argentina and Europe, as well as bakery products in Canada. Shares of SAP fell by 0.83% or $-0.4/share to $47.62. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $46.01 and as high as $54.62. On average, 293662 shares of SAP.TO exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 140497.