Australia treasurer oks Saputo bid for WBC

Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:48pm EST
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SYDNEY Nov 12 (Reuters) - Australia's treasurer has approved Saputo Inc's bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Holdings Ltd, removing a potential obstacle for the Canadian dairy maker's push to the Australian market.

"No conditions have been placed on this approval. The future ownership of WBC is ultimately a matter for the shareholders but this decision provides certainty in relation to Saputo's bid," treasurer Joe Hockey said in a statement on Tuesday.

Saputo, Canada's largest dairy producer, hiked its bid by 14 percent to A$449 million ($420 million) in October, trumping earlier approaches by major WCB shareholders Bega Cheese Ltd and Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd. ($1 = 1.0683 Australian dollars) (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Lincoln Feast)