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Bega Cheese looking for dairy consolidation

Bega Cheese may still be on the prowl for other dairy companies to snap up.

April 1, 2014 9:35am

Bega Cheese may still be on the prowl for other dairy companies to snap up.

The company started last year’s bidding frenzy for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter and although missing out to Canadian company, Saputo, ended up with a multi million bonus when it sold its Warrnambool shares.

Bega chairman Barry Irvin told Tatura Milk suppliers at last week’s meeting that the board still wants to see further consolidation of the dairy industry to improve value creation.

In February Mr Irvin said Bega Cheese ‘‘has the balance sheet strength, business profile and performance that positions it well to pursue that value creation’’.

A mystery buyer recently snapped up 9.4 million shares recently for $5.55 per share, representing an investment of $52 million in Bega.

Tatura milk is also in a stoush with the Australian Tax office over whether the company was a co-operative in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and the ATO has served up a tax bill of $13 million.

The tax office served the notice on parent company Bega on March 4.

Mr Irvin said he didn’ believe ‘‘the tax office is always right’’ and had gone back to its advisers to put a further submission to the office.

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