The battle for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) seems over with the announcement yesterday that Bega Cheese would sell its 18.8% stake in the company to rival bidder Saputo of Canada.
The move, which was announced to the ASX yesterday, will generate a substantial profit for Bega, with chairman Barry Irvin telling the Stock Exchange that Bega Cheese will “receive between $94.7 to $101.0m, delivering it a profit before tax and costs between $61.8m and $68.2m”.
Bega has exited the battle because “in the end, this is a better financial outcome for Bega Cheese and its shareholders than a successful takeover at the bid value,” Irvin said in his statement to the ASX.
The sale will take Saputo’s stake in WCB to 45% and Murray Goulbourn’s bid now looks be stuck in the starting gates as it still awaits ACCC approval.
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