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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Saputo makes final, sweetened Warrnambool offer after regulatory probe, (TSE: SAP.TO)

Canada's Saputo Inc stepped up its bid for Australia's Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings Co on Tuesday, aiming to knock out its rivals with a final sweetened offer after receiving a regulatory rap over the knuckles.Saputo's unconditional cash offer of A$515 million ($461 million) for Australia's oldest dairy company will rise as high as A$549 million ($492 million) if it receives acceptances of 90 percent or more of Warrnambool shareholders.That looks tough on paper given takeover rivals Bega Cheese Ltd and Murray Goulburn collectively own about 35 percent of Warrnambool shares, while Japanese beverage giant Kirin Holdings Co Ltd holds a further 10 percent.But analysts say Saputo's offer - now rising from A$9.00 to A$9.20 on 50 percent acceptances, A$9.40 on 75 percent acceptances and A$9.60 on 90 percent acceptances - is the clear frontrunner as Murray Goulburn is hamstrung by regulatory hurdles and Bega's offer lags on price.

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, 284862 shares of SAP.TO exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 205187.