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Monday, December 16, 2013

Saputo agrees to increase, extend Warrnambool offer after regulatory probe, (TSE: SAP.TO)

Saputo Inc has agreed to raise its bid for Australia's Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings Co, dependent on acceptances, and extend the offer period following a rap over the knuckles from the country's takeover regulator. The Takeovers Panel said on Tuesday that complex changes to the Canadian dairy company's agreed offer for Warrnambool were "most undesirable" and "caused confusion and disruption in the market for Warrnambool shares."However, it stopped short of issuing a so-called "declaration of unacceptable circumstances," which could have nixed Saputo's sweetened offer, and instead accepted key changes to the bid by Saputo and Warrnambool.Saputo last month declared its bid unconditional and said it would hike the offer from A$9.00 to A$9.20 in cash if it won more than 50 percent acceptances. Under the agreement with the panel, that now rises to A$9.40 with 75 percent acceptances and A$9.60 with 90 percent acceptances. Saputo also declared the offer final, meaning it cannot make further changes.Saputo, which is in a three-way battle with Australian rivals Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd and Bega Cheese Ltd for Australia's oldest dairy company, also agreed to extend the offer period from Dec. 20 to Jan. 10.

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 0.13% or $-0.06/share to $47.17. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $46.01 and as high as $54.62. On average, 280691 shares of SAP.TO exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 205187.