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Cooperatives Accept Dukat Bid for Ljubljanske mlekarne Dairy

Ljubljana, 14 May (STA) - Cooperatives associated in the Mlekodel company that owns around a quarter of Ljubljanske mlekarne decided on Tuesday to accept a takeover bid for shares in the Ljubljana-based dairy by Croatia's Dukat.

The decision to accept the EUR 8.75 per share offer by Dukat, which is a part of the French group Lactalis, was taken at Tuesday's general assembly of Mlekodel.

It comes after Dukat beat out Mlekodel to acquire a majority stake in Slovenia's biggest dairy in March.

"The decision to sell Mlekodel's share in Ljubljana mlekarne is based on the new facts on the ground under which Dukat is already a majority owner," Mlekodel said in a statement.

After buying the majority stake from five financial firms, Dukat published a takeover bid for the outstanding 49.7% of the dairy, as obligated by law, in mid-April.

Offering EUR 8.75 per share, the Croatian company has valued the dairy at just over EUR 38m in the bid valid through 20 May.

Ljubljanske mlekarne processes 200 million litres of milk per year and employs a 500-strong workforce at three locations in Slovenia and one in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Representing cooperatives, Mlekodel said in today's statement that a deal could be reached with the new owners of Slovenia's biggest dairy that would provide for long-term purchase of milk from Slovenian farmers at acceptable prices.

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