Australia's Tassal accepts sweetened $1.2 billion bid from Canada's Cooke

·1 min read

(Reuters) - Tassal Group said on Tuesday it had accepted a sweetened A$5.23 per share takeover offer from Canadian aquaculture company Cooke Inc, giving the Australia-based salmon producer an enterprise value of A$1.70 billion ($1.19 billion).

The deal will give Cooke access to Tassal's salmon farms spanning five marine zones, four freshwater hatcheries and four processing facilities in Tasmania, as well as prawn farming and seafood processing businesses in New South Wales and Queensland.

The agreement comes after Tassal previously rejected two earlier proposals from the Canadian firm, stating that the offers failed to reflect the fundamental value of its business.

The latest deal price was a 7% premium to Tassal stock's last close and above Cooke's last offer of A$4.85 per share.

"The Tassal board believes the revised proposal reflects appropriate long-term value for the business, and is unanimous in its view that the scheme is in the best interests of Tassal shareholders," Tassal Chair James Fazzino said.

The board unanimously recommended shareholders vote in favour of the offer at a meeting to be held in November, the Australian salmon farmer said.

The scheme is not subject to any financing or due diligence conditions, and Cooke has advised that it has already obtained Foreign Investment Review Board approval for the deal, the company added.

($1 = 1.4255 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)