Saputo prend une grosse bouchée en Australie

La transaction est évaluée à près de 1,3 G$. L'acquisition pourrait lui conférer la moitié du marché australien des produits laitiers.

L'offre, recommandée à l'unanimité par le conseil d'administration de Murray Goulburn "en l'absence de proposition supérieure", est assujettie à l'approbation des actionnaires de MG et aux conditions habituelles, a indiqué Saputo dans un communiqué.

L'acquisition, a précisé Saputo par communiqué, s'effectuera "sur une base sans endettement et sera financée au moyen d'un nouveau prêt bancaire établi". L'entreprise compte 2 300 employés et exploite 11 usines en Australie et en Chine.

En juin dernier, la coopérative Murray Goulburn, cotée à la bourse australienne, avait annoncé son intention de procéder à une révision stratégique de ses activités au terme d'une année financière difficile. Saputo possède déjà la compagnie australienne Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory. En ajoutant le plus important producteur laitier de l'Océanie à cet actif, la montréalaise verrait sa part du marché australien passer de 10 à 50 %, a déjà estimé un analyste de BMO Marchés des capitaux.

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