Saputo fails to gain 90% of WCB

Canadian dairy giant closes takeover offer, will pay $9.40 per share.

Canadian dairy giant Saputo has fallen short of taking full ownership of Victoria's Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory (WCB).

Beverage and food group Lion has refused to sell its 10% stake, and Saputo has closed its takeover offer with an 87.9% interest.

Warrnambool will remain listed on the Australian share market.

Shareholders who sold to Saputo will receive $9.40 a share, not the $9.60 they would have received if the suitor had surpassed a 90% stake.

Lion bought its stake in Warrnambool in October 2013, and holds cheese supply contracts with the company.

Warrnambool was the target of a prolonged three-way fight for control by Saputo, Australia's Bega Cheese and Murray Goulburn Co-operative.

Warrnambool shares were down 1.96% to $8.97 at 1345 AEDT.