Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company have requested that the ASX grant an immediate trading halt on its ordinary shares as of today until commencement of trading on Tuesday 19 November.
WCB has requested the trading halt in respect of negotiations surrounding a proposed revised offer from Canadian processor, Saputo Dairy. WCB expects to announce the full details of Saputo’s revised offer either today, or by Monday, 18 November.
Saputo have consistently out-bided the two other suitors in the war over WCB, Bega Cheese and Murray Goulburn. As a result of this, Warrnambool’s board of directors have unanimously recommended that shareholders accept Saputo’s offer in the absence of a superior proposal.
Bega Cheese announced its final bid for the Victorian dairy yesterday which comprises of an off market takeover offer for all the shares in WCB to 1.5 Bega shares and $2.00 cash per WCB share – representing an implied offer of $8.68 per share base on the $4.45 closing price of Bega shares as at 14 November 2013.
Bega confirmed that the offer is final and will not be further increased, which is in comparison to both Murray Goulburn and Saputo who have not declared their respective offers as final.
WCB’s directors have stated that they are not yet in a position to issue a formal response to the Final Bega Offer, and subsequently have urged shareholders to take no action in relation to Bega’s revised offer until it has been analysed by the board.
“The WCB Board urges WCB shareholders to be cautious in relation to the Final Bega Offer,” said WCB chairman, Terry Richardson.
“Now that the Final Bega Offer is unconditional, once an acceptance form is completed and sent to Bega, there will be no withdrawal rights and Bega will be free to deal with those WCB shares acquired as it sees fit. WCB shareholders who accept the Final Bega Offer will not be able to sell those shares into a competing offer for cash or sell those shares on the ASX.”