Dairy giants Saputo, Murray Goulburn and Bega have been locked in a three-way battle for ownership of Victoria’s Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, at times dragging regulators and politicians into the fray.
Warrnambool today was forced to reveal details of the three offers as part of an undertaking with the Takeovers Panel.
Here’s the skinny:
Canadian-owned Saputo is offering a minimum of $9.00 a share, and $9.20, $9.40 and $9.60 if it ends up with more than 50%, 75% and 90% of the company respectively.
The offer period will close at 7pm AEST on January 10, 2014. About 16.9% of Warrnambool shareholders have accepted Saputo’s offer so far, although many will be able to withdraw their acceptance by January 3 as part of the Takeovers Panel undertaking.
Bega is offering 1.5 shares and $2 cash per Warrnambool share, until 7pm on December 20.
Bega is currently trading at $4.36, valuing its offer at $8.54 per Warrnambool share. Only 1% of Warrnambool shareholders have accepted the Bega offer so far.
Murray Goulburn has offered $9.50 per share for all the shares in Warrnambool.
The offer needs to be authorised by the Australian Competition Tribunal and the ACCC; Warrnambool noted today that “these conditions compare unfavourably in terms of certainty to each of the Saputo and Bega off-market takeover offers which are both unconditional”.
The Tribunal has agreed to assess Murray Goulburn’s application over five days from February 10, with Warrnambool expecting a decision by February 28.
Murray Goulburn has not yet dispatched its bidders statement to Warrnambool shareholders, so has yet to receive any acceptances.
Warrnambool closed the day yesterday at $9.25 a share. It has yet to resume trading today, after requesting a trading halt in anticipation of the Takeovers Panel announcement.
There’s more in Warrnambool’s announcement to investors.