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ASX forces a2 Milk to reveal mystery bidder as Dean Foods

June 25, 2015
Food & Drink
The Australian Securities Exchange has forced the hand of milk group a2 Milk, threatening to suspend its shares from trading unless it revealed the identity of the international milk player who has partnered with the Perich family backed Freedom Foods to bid for the company.
 
In a statement to the ASX today, a2 Milk (A2M) confirmed the group was the US-listed Dean Foods Group and noted it was continuing to seek further information to evaluate the proposal.
 
It said it would make no further comment.
 
The a2 Milk board will meet in London early next week where the proposal is expected to be at the top of the agenda.
 
However the disclosure of the names of both the bidders by a2 has arguably breached the conditions put on the offer by the bidders, who asked that their identities remain confidential.
 
This could leave Dean Foods or another international bidder free to make its own bid for a2, which is now in play.
 
However Freedom Foods continues to have the upper hand in any corporate activity with a shareholding of almost 19 per cent in a2.
 
It is understood Freedom and Dean Foods would have preferred the approach was not made public by a2 until further discussions had taken place between the parties after lobbing its incomplete and conditional bid — including a price — on the weekend.
 
Shares in a2 Milk shares are currently trading 3.7c lower at 66c on the ASX.
 
By Damon Kitney
 

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