Bega sweetens WCB bid

Suitor to lift the value of its cash and shares bid and make it unconditional, declares this will be its final offer.

Bega Chesse (BGA) will increase its offer for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Company Holdings (WCB) and make the offer unconditional.

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Bega said it will lift its offer to 1.5 Bega shares and $2 cash per WCB share, valuing the offer at $8.87 per share.

Bega, which is part of the Uncapped 100, said this is its final offer and will not be increased further.

Bega also said it will declare its offer unconditional, adding shareholders would be paid within eight business days of accepting the offer, and noted that rival bids from Murray Goulburn and Saputo remain subject to conditions (see article).

Bega said it has shown milk price leadership in Victoria and consistent financial performance, saying it intends to preserve the WCB brand and has a history of investing in the companies it acquires.

Murray Goulburn yesterday also increased its bid for WCB to $9 cash per share, a day after Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey and the Foreign Investment Review Board approved the offer from Canada's Saputo of $8 cash per share.

WCB has recommended shareholders accept Saputo's $450 million offer and earlier entered a takeover bid implementation deed with the Canadian group. 

WCB shares last traded at $9.10.

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