Bega open to WCB talks with Lion

Lion not expected to launch bid, but becomes key player in WCB race.

In light of Japanese-owned Lion taking a stake in Warrnambool Cheese & Butter (WCB), potential WCB suitor Bega Cheese (BGA) has expressed an openness to talks with Lion, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Bega is among the bidders for WCB, having offered $2 cash and 1.2 Bega shares, worth $7.27 per WCB share, for WCB. Murray Goulburn has offered $7.50 per share in cash, while Canadian firm Saputo has offered $8 a share.

Lion is not expected to enter the bidding race, but became a key player in the matter when it emered with a 9.9% stake recently, at prices around $9.25 a share.

“We said from the very start that we want to build on the WCB business and we are obviously aware that part of that business is their long-term relationship with Lion,” Mr Irvin told the AFR.

“I'm sure they'll contact us when they're ready.” 

Bega is part of the Uncapped 100.

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