CPI shows holidays, fruit and vegetable prices up; Saputo reaches 52.7% stake in WCB: Midday Roundup

The Consumer Price Index for the December quarter 2013 rose by 0.8%, compared to a rise of 1.2% in the September quarter 2013, new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.

It rose 2.7% through the full year to the December quarter, compared with a rise of 2.2% through the year to the September quarter 2013.

The ABS reports that the greatest price rises for the quarter were in domestic holiday travel and accommodation, up 6.9% and in fruit at 8.1% and vegetables at 7.1%.

Other areas of growth were new dwelling purchases by owner-occupiers at 1% and international holiday travel and accommodation at 2.6% and tobacco at 2.2%.

Automotive fuel was the most significant offsetting price fall at -1.1%.

The Australian dollar shifted from US87.88 cents to US88.42 cents today.

Saputo reaches 52.7% stake in WCB

Canadian dairy giant Saputo has taken control of the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, increasing its stake from 47.85% to 52.702%.

The move means Saputo is even more likely to gain 100% control of the business, as its takeover offer has been extended for another two weeks and its consideration will increase from $9 per share to $9.20.

Saputo’s offer is now valued at $514.9 million.

In a statement to the ASX, Saputo said if it received a relevant interest in WCB of more than 75% during the extended offer period, it will increase its offer price by a further $0.20 to $9.40 per share.

If Saputo reaches a 90% stake in the company during the offer period it will increase its offer again to $9.60.

WCB has consistently pushed shareholders to accept Saputo’s takeover bid.

Shares fall on open

Aussie shares have dropped on open, following losses on Wall Street overnight.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 42 points to 5289.5 at 12:14pm AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones fell 44.12 points, down 0.27% to 16,414.44.

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