Canada's Saputo likely to bid for Murray Goulburn milk processor

Canada's Saputo likely to bid for Murray Goulburn milk processor
Canada's Saputo likely to bid for Murray Goulburn milk processor

Canada's Saputo is set to be named preferred bidder for the operations of embattled milk processor Murray Goulburn, Australia’s largest dairy processor.

The rumoured sale price is around $1.1 billion, with the Moelis-advised Saputo the last standing.

Parmalat was a prospect and Bega Cheese released a statement to the ASX saying it was “no longer a potential purchaser”.

The Murray Goulburn chair John Spark, who will update the co-op today, has bankers increasing the pressure on the cash-starved dairy co-op.

Competition issues could now be raised if Saputo wanted to buy Murray Goulburn where the price consists of net debt of about $450 million and equity in the $550 million, according to The Australian..

The MG stock price has increased from about 65c in September to 82c, but still well below the $2.42 float price in 2015.

Others potential buyers are in the background including French-based Parmalat, along with two Chinese firms — the Lazard-advised Mengniu Dairy and BAML-advised Yili.

The UBS-advised Wilmar is also in the wings along with Rothschild-advised New Zealand giant Fonterra, which has been described by The Australian columnist John Durie as the wildcard in the battle.

The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk noted that after days of negotiations, Saputo emerged yesterday as the leading contender, with an announcement to shareholders and farmers expected at its annual general meeting in Melbourne on Friday.

Murray Goulburn has been under pressure after its milk intake plunged following a decision to retrospectively cut milk prices last year.

In August it reduced its milk intake guidance for 2017-18 to just 2 billion litres, down from 3.5 billion litres in 2016.

Tags: 
Milk Dairy Cooperative

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