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Fonterra spends another A$14.7 mln to lift Bega stake

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world's biggest dairy exporter, spent another A$14.7 million to lift its stake in Australian dairy company Bega Cheese this week, paying a premium to do so.

The Auckland-based company bought 3 million shares at A$4.89 apiece, to increase its stake in Bega to 9.06 percent, it said in a statement. That's a 4.7 percent premium to the A$4.67 Bega recently traded at.

Earlier this month it bought 9.3 million shares at A$4.95 each, at a time when Bega was embroiled in the takeover battle for Victoria diary producer Warrnambool Cheese & Butter. Bega's cash and scrip offer has been bested by Canada's Saputo, which has the blessing of the WCB board, and Murray Goulburn, which topped the Canadian bid this week.

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings told shareholders this week that reshaping its Australian business is a key priority as the dairy sector goes through a period of consolidation across the Tasman.

Fonterra finalised its purchase of Tamar Valley Dairy this week, securing control of the small Tasmanian yoghurt business from a voluntary administration sale.

Units in the Fonterra Shareholders' Fund rose 0.9 percent to $6.50 today, and have dropped 8.5 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

Comments and questions
2

Credit to Fonterra - tactically very smart. Means Bega will never been acquired without Fonterra's consent
Bega is the likely victor in the WCB battle - they own ~18% and gaining acceptances already. Saputo will never get to 50% as MG/Lion/Bega hold ~40-45% collectively, MG will never been allowed to due to ACCC

Well done the Fonterra M&A team

Who ever gets WCB will be the loser because they will have paid way to much for it. In a few years time they will have to right down the value of WCB. Glad Fonterra is not in the bidding war for WCB but could of paid to much for the stake in Bega.