Warrnambool Cheese and Butter is in a trading halt today in anticipation of the Takeovers Panel’s decision about a takeover bid from Canadian-owned Saputo.
Saputo, Murray Goulburn and Bega have been fighting for Warrnambool ownership for months, with Saputo offering $9.20 a share, Murray Goulburn $9.50 a share and Bega $2 cash plus 1.5 Bega shares.
Saputo had been buying Warrnambool shares on the market while Warrnambool shareholders considered the rival offers, but the Takeovers Panel temporarily banned Saputo from upping its stake on November 29, following an application from Murray Goulburn.
Saputo owned about 9.65% of Warrnambool at the time.
According to a report in the AFR, Saputo will have a 16.9% stake in Warrnambool if the Takeovers Panel lifts its ban.
Warrnambool directors reportedly favor Saputo’s bid because Saputo doesn’t have an Australian operation, so staff and management will be retained.
Warrnambool told investors that today’s trading halt would cease tomorrow morning, or when the Takeovers Panel’s decision was made public.
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