THE NEWS WRAP: Bega and Murray Goulburn refusing to concede to Saputo over Warrnambool

Australian dairy giants Bega Cheese and Murray Goulburn are refusing to concede defeat after the board of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter recommended a $9-per-share bid from Canadian food company Saputo.

 

“Our revised $9 cash offer underscores Saputo’s commitment to Australia and the Warrnambool business. Saputo will invest to grow local industry and provide the opportunity for farmers to grow their businesses,” Saputo chief executive Lino Saputo Jnr says.

 

For its part, Bega maintains its cash and shares bid, worth $9.13 per share, was a superior offer to Saputo’s, while Murray Goulburn has not ruled out making another bid, with some reports speculating about a $10-per-share bid.

 

“We’ve said we have a good price offer. We always reserve the right to review and react to obviously an ever-changing dynamic,” Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou says.

 

Freelancer shares soar 400% in first day of trading

 

Shares in outsourcing website Freelancer have soared more than 400% during its first day of trading on Friday, with the company’s share price soaring as high as $2.60.

 

 

The company raised $15 million by issuing 30 million shares at 50 cents each.

 

“We have 9 million users globally. There’s a long way to go. We thought this is probably the best path, and we maintained being masters of our own destiny,” Freelancer founder Matt Barrie says.

 

China set to debate financial reform

 

China has announced plans to liberalise foreign investment in its financial sector, creating potential investment opportunities for Australian banks.

 

Currently, foreign investors are limited to just 20% of a Chinese financial institution, with the reforms potentially lifting that threshold.

 

“China will widen market access for foreign investors. The country will keep investment policy stable, transparent and predictable,” Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports.

 

Debate over the reforms is set to take place at the third plenum of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party, which will set the country’s economic policy for the next decade.

 

Overnight

 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.54% to 15961.7. The Aussie dollar is up to US93.83 cents.

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