Warrnambool Cheese and Butter today released its Target’s Statement in response to the off-market takeover bid by Canadian dairy processor, Saputo for all the shares in WCB at $8 cash per share.
The statement unanimously recommends that WCB shareholders accept Saputo’s offer, and confirms the intention of each of WCB’s directors and senior executives to accept Saputo’s offer for all WCB shares they hold or control in the absence of a superior bid.
WCB also confirmed that the Target’ Statement has been served on Saputo and lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ACCC) today.
The Target’s Statement will be dispatched this week to WCB shareholders who received Saputo’s Bidder’s Statement.
WCB’s Target Statement comes at a time when debate surrounding Australian ownership of the company continues to gain momentum.
President of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, Kerry Callow said that she wants to hear which path Australian dairy farmers want the industry to take, be that in Australian, or foreign hands.
"We are at a crossroads. One road will see yet another of our key dairy processors fall under foreign control – if Canadian diary giant Saputo takes ownership of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter. The other road could see Australia move towards becoming a global player in the international dairy export market," Callow told The Weekly Times.
"Australian farmer ownership of our processing assets ensures we have a globally competitive and profitable industry that puts Australian dairy farmers' interests and livelihoods front and centre.
"It seems that in most dairy farmers' minds there are two important principles at stake; the need for competition at the farm gate and the need to position the Australian industry as a major player on the global market.”