THE NEWS WRAP: Warrnambool warns about “highly opportunistic” takeover bid

Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory is preparing to fight a takeover attempt by dairy rival Bega, with chairman Terry Richardson describing the bid as “highly opportunistic” in a letter to shareholders.


“Directors will assess these factors as we consider whether Bega’s offer adequately reflects the value of the … business today, the expected future earnings uplift from the initiatives currently underway and the improving market conditions,” Richardson says in the letter.


“Given the highly favourable outlook for [the company], we consider the timing of the offer to be highly opportunistic.


WA loses its AAA credit rating over debt concerns


Western Australia has lost its AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s over concerns about the state’s declining revenues and a blow-out in debt.


Premier Colin Barnett has claimed some of the responsibility to the downgrade.


“The only thing I can say is maybe we’re guilty of trying to do too much too quickly, maybe we need to slow down a little bit,” Barnett said.


“We’re going to have expenditure cuts right across every area. Maybe some of the utilities, maybe some things that we don’t need to do, maybe some areas of government activity that could be contracted out, as we’ve done in some areas, so expect to see a little more of that.”


RBA calls for calm over housing bubble alarmism


RBA assistant governor Malcolm Edey has called for calm over speculation of a potential housing bubble in Australia.


“We shouldn’t be rushing to reach for the bubble terminology every time the rate in house price increases is higher than average, because by definition that’s 50% of the time,” he said.


“And you’re just going to be unrealistically alarmist by making that call every time that happens.”




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up to 15676.94. The Aussie dollar is down to US94.97 cents.


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