Australia treasurer oks Saputo bid for WBC

Reuters

SYDNEY, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Australia's treasurer hasapproved Saputo Inc's bid for Warrnambool Cheese andButter Factory Holdings Ltd, removing a potentialobstacle for the Canadian dairy maker's push to the Australianmarket.

"No conditions have been placed on this approval. The futureownership of WBC is ultimately a matter for the shareholders butthis 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 14percent to A$449 million ($420 million) in October, trumpingearlier 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)

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