BEGA Cheese has increased its stake in takeover target Warrnambool Cheese and Butter (WCB) to 18.8 per cent.In a statement issued to the ASX today, Bega confirmed it now holds more than 10.5 million shares in WCB following the closure of its offer for WCB on December 20.

The statement also listed the names of the 20 largest holders of quoted equity securities in Bega, with New Zealand Milk (Australasia) Pty Ltd among the biggest.

Bega offered 1.5 Bega shares and $2 cash/WCB share in its takeover offer for WCB.

Its increased stake in WCB is currently bigger than stakes held by fellow WCB suitors, Canada’s Saputo and Murray Goulburn (MG).

On December 24, Saputo confirmed it had increased its stake in WCB to 17.92pc.

However, 13.35 per cent of those shares remain subject to withdrawal rights, with investors who accepted Saputo’s offer before December 17 allowed to withdraw their acceptance before January 3.

MG holds approximately a 17 per cent stake in WCB.

WCB shares remained steady at $9.26 at 1.40pm AEDT today.

Bega shares were trading at $4.48 at 1.59pm AEDT today.
Source: Queensland Country Life