Amid rising speculation about Bega Cheese’s taste for the Capilano honey business, Bega’s shares on the Australian Securities Exchange have been placed in a trading halt.
Bega has flagged a capital raising plan, including the placement of fully paid ordinary shares to institutional investors and a share purchase plan for retail shareholders.
It requested the trading halt remain in place until Wednesday morning, or earlier, depending on the time required to make an announcement with regard to the progress of the institutional share placement.
Last week Bega confirmed it had increased its stake in the Capilano to more than eight per cent.
Koroit plant purchase
In July it also spent $250 million buying the former Murray Goulburn dairy factory at Koroit in Victoria’s south west after the MG business’ new owner, Saputo Australia, was required to sell site to get the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s consent for the MG asset takeover.
Bega first began acquiring Capilano shares in May, but paid $21 a share for its recent purchases.
Capilano’s market price lifted to a high of $21.19 early last week - firmly above the $20.06 proposed by the Roc Partners-Wattle Hill bidding syndicate which has had a scheme of arrangement takeover offer on Capilano’s boardroom table for the past month.
That deal, valued at about $190m, has been supported by the honey company’s board, subject to another better offer not emerging.
Bega’s interest in Capilano follows last year’s $460 million purchase of the Kraft peanut butter and Vegemite brands and the Mondelez Australia production plant in Melbourne.
Related reading: Bega’s interest grows sweeter
A host of other grocery products including Zoosh dips and Bonox, cheese slices, cheese spread, parmesan cheese, and Kraft’s Mac and Cheese were included in the deal.
Late last year Bega bulked up its commitment to the spreads business buying Queensland’s Peanut Company of Australia for $12m.
Bega Cheese helped balance up its books last August with 172.7m netted from an over-subscribed share offer to institutional investors and existing shareholders.
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