Egyptian Lactalis business Al-Nour ups Arab Dairy takeover bid

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Egyptian Lactalis business Al-Nour ups Arab Dairy takeover bid
Lactalis subsidiary Al-Nour for Dairy Industries has bumped up its offer to acquire sought-after Egyptian cheesemaker, Arab Dairy Product Company.

Earlier today, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority announced it had approved a request from Al-Nour​ to amend its Arab Dairy takeover bid. 

Its offer now stands at E£60.50 (US$8.46) per share - an increase on E£58 (US$8.11) per share bid it tabled in December 2014.

If accepted by all Arab Dairy shareholders, Al-Nour will payout around E£363m (US$50.8m).

Al-Nour's improved offer now tops the revised bid tabled by Egyptian private equity firm, Pioneers Holding, last week. 

It was similarly given the go-ahead to increase its offer from E£56 (US$7.83) to E£59.20 (US$8.28)​ for a 60.2% interest in Arab Dairy, which it already holds a 16% stake in.

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority has now extended the deadline for new bids to February 1, Reuters reported earlier today.

Egyptian cheese

Lactalis, according to Euromonitor, holds the fourth largest share of the US$2.1bn Egyptian dairy market, and is the fourth biggest player in the country's US$843.9m (€684m) cheese market.

Egyptian processed cheesemaker, Al-Nour, was among a coalition of Middle Eastern Lactalis businesses that tabled a E£66 (US$9.23) per share offer to acquire Arab Dairy in November 2014.

After a period of due diligence, however, Al-Nour made a lower offer of E£58 per share on behalf of its parent company.

Arab Dairy, which is best known for its Panda cheese brand, currently controls the seventh largest share of the country's cheese market, which is predicted to double in size to US$1.69bn in 2019.

It has in recent months drawn interest from a host of companies, including Arla Foods. 

In September 2014, Arla tabled a non-binding E£65 (US$9.09) per share offer for Arab Dairy, but decided in December not to pursue the takeover​ after a period of due diligence.

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BDT

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