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Lactalis Takes Controlling Stake in Parmalat

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Lactalis Takes Controlling Stake in Parmalat

Lactalis Takes Controlling Stake in Parmalat
March 23
16:41 2011

French privately owned dairy group Lactalis, which is the world’s largest cheese manufacturer, has increased its shareholding in Parmalat, the leading dairy group in Italy, to 29% following a Eur744m acquisition of a 15.3% stake. Lactalis is now the largest shareholder in Parmalat but has stopped short of taking a 30% stake, which would oblige it to make a full takeover offer.

The move has raised strong opposition from the Italian Government, which regards Parmalat as a strategic national asset. According to some analysts, Lactalis will now be in a position to vote in a new board at Parmalat’s annual shareholders meeting in April, so taking management control without having to pay a takeover premium.

Parmalat was, of course, at the centre of a Eur14b fraud that bankrupted the group in 2003. It has since been reorgranised and has built up gross cash of Eur1.4b.

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