Saputo has ample firepower

The Canadian dairy giant has greater access to funds that its rivals Murray Goulburn and Bega.

Saputo Inc has used just 14 per cent of a $1.03 billion credit facility to finance its offer for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Ltd, leaving the Canadian dairy giant with massive firepower to trump any competing bid for Warrnambool.

The National Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal have offered Saputo credit facilities of $525 million and $505 million. Just $141.4 million has been drawn from the credit facilities, Saputo says.

“In aggregate, the funds available under the credit facilities are more than sufficient to fund” the Warrnambool bid, says Saputo.

Saputo raised its initial takeover offer for Warrnambool on Friday to $8 per share in cash, valuing the firm at $449 million, and received the renewed backing of the board. The Montreal-based company has a market value of C$10 billion.

Murray Goulburn Co-operative Ltd has offered $7.50 in cash for Warrnambool. Bega Cheese Ltd has offered 1.3 of its shares plus $2 cash for Warrnambol. At 1401 AEDT Bega’s bid was valued at $6.788.

Warrnambool shares were trading at $8.44 at 1416 AEDT.