Saputo reaches 26 per cent WCB stake

SAPUTO has gained its strongest momentum yet in the fight for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, with acceptances to its offer surging past 26 per cent.

The Canadian dairy dynamo issued WCB shareholders an ultimatum on Friday, saying they only had 12 more days to accept its unconditional offer of $9 cash a share or miss out.

Saputo said over the weekend its acceptances had jumped from 21.4 per cent to 26.4 per cent, after it gained 2.8 million more shares.

UPDATED TIMELINE: Warrnambool Cheese and Butter bidding war

The Montreal-based company extended its offer to on Friday morning, nine hours before its was set to close.

Chief executive and vice chairman Lino Saputo Jr said there would be no more extensions.

"If shareholders want to be paid their cash, and paid quickly, they must accept our offer and make sure we receive their acceptance before the offer expires,'' he said.

Saputo is jousting for control of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter with Australia's biggest dairy company, Murray Goulburn, which has offered $9.50 cash a share, or $533 million.

- The Age

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