WCB to respond to Saputo: report

Dairy group expected to formally recommend takeover offer to FIRB today.

Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory (WCB) is expected to formally respond to a $450 million takeover offer from Canadian dairy giant Saputo today, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper, WCB is to release a statement outlining its recommendation of the offer – which is preferred by the company's board – to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), ahead of rival offers from Bega Cheese Ltd and Murray Goulburn Co-operative.

Bega owns an 18% stake in WCB, while Murray Goulburn owns a 17.7% stake in the company.

FIRB is expected to finish its assessment of the proposal by the end of the month, while Murray Goulburn is said to be applying to the Australian Competition Tribunal regarding its offer in coming weeks, the AFR reports.

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