PCA CEO John Howard said the proposed Bega takeover of PCA would provide certainty.
PCA CEO John Howard said the proposed Bega takeover of PCA would provide certainty. Tobi Loftus

Bega Cheese bids to take over PCA

UPDATE: Peanut Company of Australia CEO John Howard said the proposed Bega Cheese takeover of the PCA would provide certainty for the company.

"Bega is our largest customer," he said.

"They are a company that has a heritage very similar to ours.

"It provides certainty and sustainability going forward. To have a large food player with a similar history to ourselves that sees the opportunity, that provides a lot of certainty for staff, our customers, and our growers."

Barry Irvin is the executive chairman of Bega Cheese. 

"The acquisition of PCA will help grow the supply of Australian grown peanuts for the manufacture of peanut butter at our Port Melbourne factory and supply to other PCA customers," Mr Irvin said in a statement on the ASX.

"We have plans to increase the domestic supply of peanuts by working with farmers to expand peanut plantings and production.

"We have a long history of working with farmer suppliers in the dairy industry and we will apply that experience to the peanut industry."

PCA has been one of Australia's leading suppliers of peanuts for 90 years.

Bega Cheese is an Australian dairy company founded in 1899 in Bega, New South Wales. In January 2017 the company took over Vegemite and has the license to manufacture Kraft-branded peanut butter. 

The PCA Board unanimously recommended PCA shareholders accept the Bid from Bega, subject to the Independent Expert's opinion and in the absence of a superior proposal being received by PCA.

The Kingaroy Peanut Silos.
The Kingaroy Peanut Silos. Tobi Loftus

Earlier: BEGA Cheese has announced plans to take over the Peanut Company of Australia.

PCA made the announcement in a statement on Friday afternoon.

"Bega's acquisition of PCA will ensure continued Australian ownership of the iconic peanut business," the statement said.

"The PCA Board considers that the Bid, if successful, will also facilitate business expansion opportunities and provide confidence to farmer suppliers to expand peanut plantings and increase production and therefore provide additional supply to our customers."

Bega Cheese Limited today took over 19.99% of PCA's shares, at 83 cents per share and has made an unconditional takeover bid to acquire all the issued shares of PCA not held by Bega at 83 cents per share.

The Bid process is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 with a Bidder's Statement and Target's Statement being distributed to PCA shareholders shortly.