Saputo ups stake in WCB; Mobil brand back in action: Midday Roundup

Canadian dairy company Saputo has increased its stake in the Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory to 20.1%, amid continuing takeover negotiations.

Saputo is now the largest shareholder in the Victorian dairy business.

The company increased its shareholding from 17.92% to 20.14%, as it bought more than 1.2 million shares yesterday.

Saputo’s final takeover bid for WCB of $9 cash per share is due to close tomorrow. WCB has recommended the board accept the Canadian company’s offer.

The other competitor vying for WCB is Australian company Murray Goulburn. Bega Cheese had been involved in the bidding war, but dropped out in December.

WCB shares are currently trading at $9.15.

Mobil petrol name set to reappear

Petrol brand Mobil is set to return to petrol stations, following a decision by ExxonMobil to capitalise on consumer recognition of the name, The Age reports.

ExxonMobil has sold fuel under the 7-Eleven brand in recent years, but will bring the Mobil brand back into focus.

The Age reports that the changes will rolled out in 2014.

“ExxonMobil has been the exclusive supplier of fuel to 7-Eleven service stations since 2012 and the new strategic partnership provides a platform for future growth,” said ExxonMobil’s Australian chairman Richard Owen.

Shares down on open

Aussie shares have dropped slightly this morning, following overnight losses on Wall Street.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 8.5 points to 5307.5 at 11:55am AEDT. Last night the Dow Jones dropped 68.2 points, 0.41% lower to 16,462.74.

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