WCB, Bega shares spike

Dairy group's shares surge in morning trade amid reports of strategic buyer.

Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Company Holdings (WCB) and Bega Cheese (BGA) say they are unaware why shares in the two groups spiked in morning trade, despite an ongoing takeover battle.

At 1442 AEDT, Warrnambool Cheese shares were 7.66% higher at $9.00, against a benchmark fall of 0.56%, but reached as high as $9.30 during the day's trade.

At 1435 AEDT, Bega shares were 6.25% higher at $4.25, against a benchmark index fall of 0.47%.

In a short statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Warrnambool said it was not aware of the reason for the unusual share trading, noting about four million shares had been traded, and adding that it was in compliance with its continuous disclosure obligation.

The Australian Financial Review reports an unknown strategic buyer has picked up a stake in the group this morning.

Bega issued a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange saying it was not aware of any information that had not been announced to the market which could explain the increase in its share price, confirming it was in compliance with the listing rules.

Warrnambool Cheese has entered a takeover bid implementation deed with Canadian dairy processor Saputo, but is also fielding bids from Bega Cheese Ltd and Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd. (see David Gilmour's WCB: All the way to 8.50?).

Bega is part of the Uncapped 100.

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