Home > Victorian dairy body backs Murray Goulburn bid for Warrnambool

Victorian dairy body backs Murray Goulburn bid for Warrnambool

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The United Dairy Farmers of Victoria (UDV), the state’s peak dairy industry body has put its support behind Murray Goulburn in the bidding war for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory.

President of UDV, Kerry Callow emphasised that the dairy industry needs a strong Australian-owned presence in order to capitalise on emerging export markets, The Australian reports.

"Almost half our milk goes through multinational companies, but we currently lack an export focus," said Callow.

"We need enough scale in Australian hands to take advantage of those markets in the region that are opening up for us."

The other two contenders for Warrnambool, Canadian dairy processor Saputo and Bega Cheese have already been granted foreign investment and competition (ACCC) approvals respectively in contrast to Murray Goulburn who has decided to bypass the ACCC, and present its submission directly to the Australian Competition Tribunal which has a capacity to approve a takeover bid if it deems public benefit will outweigh competition concerns.

Murray Goulburn argues in its submission that should its takeover be accepted, substantial public benefits will result including a significant increase in scale, innovation, greater operational efficiencies and the ability to leverage existing relationships with premium customers.

Murray Goulburn also states that it has the capacity to become the second largest supplier of dairy products in international markets behind Fonterra with the successful takeover of WCB.

The tribunal, consisting of a three-person panel will host a case management conference today, and is scheduled to preside over public hearings from the 10th of February.

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