Murray Goulburn buys stake in WCB

Posted by Josette Dunn on 1st March 2010

Murray Goulburn has built a stake in local rival Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, which has twice rejected takeover bids from the Australian dairy co-op.WCB said on Friday that Murray Goulburn has snapped up “close to a 5% stake” in the business.

The shares were bought for A$4.50 (US$4.01) a share, 15 cents higher than the second offer from Murray Goulburn that WCB rebuffed.

WCB told its shareholders to “take no action” and insisted it would keep investors of “all material developments”.

Murray Goulburn had its second bid dismissed by the WCB board last Friday. WCB claimed the latest offer did not reflect the company’s “unique geographic location” and “strategic position in the Australian dairy industry”.

In response, Stephen O’Rourke, Murray Goulburn’s managing director, insisted the offer was “a genuine proposal” to deliver higher returns to farmers.

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