Canada's Saputo to buy Australian milk processor Warrnambool for $370 mn

Canada's Saputo Inc yesterday agreed to buy Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Company Holdings Ltd for A$392.7 million ($370 million).

The Montreal-based dairy company beat a lower rival bid from Warrnambool's majority shareholder Bega Cheese Ltd.

Saputo's off-market offer is A$7 per share compared to Bega Cheese September offer of A$5.75 per share.

Saputo's offer has been unanimously recommended by the board of Warrnambool, and have recommend that shareholders accept the offer, in the absence of a superior proposal.

Listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, Warrnambool is one of the largest milk processors in Australia, operating two manufacturing sites in South West Victoria and South Australia and employing over 420 people.

It produces a range of dairy products for domestic and export markets. Its products include cheese, butter and butter blends, milk, cream and dairy ingredients.

For the financial years ended 30 June 2013 and 2012, Warrnambool's consolidated revenues were CA$477 million and CA$479 million, respectively.

Saputo is one of the top 10 dairy processors in the world, the largest in Canada, the third-largest in Argentina and among the top three cheese producers in the US.

The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company produces and distributes a wide array of dairy products, including cheese, fluid milk, extended shelf-life milk and cream products, cultured products and dairy ingredients.

Saputo's products are sold in more than 40 countries under well-known brand names such as Saputo, Alexis de Portneuf, Armstrong, Baxter, Dairyland, Dragone, DuVillage 1860, Friendship, Frigo Cheese Heads, Great Midwest, King's Choice, Kingsey, La Paulina, Milk2Go, Neilson, Nutrilait, Ricrem, Salemville, Stella and Treasure Cave.