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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Murray Goulburn bows out of Warrnambool bid; eyes on Kirin decision, (TSE: SAP.TO)

Australia's Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd agreed to sell its 17.7 percent stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co Holdings Ltd to rival bidder Saputo Inc, finally bowing out of the hotly contested bidding battle.Murray Goulburn's capitulation cleared another hurdle for Saputo to take over Warrnambool, which is seen as a platform for the Canadian dairy maker to tap growing demand in Asia for both traditional dairy products and high-tech milk extracts.Saputo has already won majority control in Warrnambool after former rival bidder Bega Cheese Ltd gave it a leg-up last week by selling its 18.8 percent stake to the Canadian company.Murray Goulburn's sale will lift Saputo's stake in Australia's oldest dairy firm to 75.4 percent, triggering a 20 cent rise in its offer price to A$9.40 per share or A$526 million ($465.96 million).

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 traded higher by 0.29% or $0.15/share to $52.69. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $46.01 and as high as $54.62. On average, 295452 shares of SAP.TO exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 517363.