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Dukat Expands Stake in Ljubljana Dairy to 97%

Ljubljana, 22 May (STA) - Croatia's dairy Dukat, a part of the French group Lactalis, increased its stake in Slovenia's largest dairy Ljubljanske mlekarne to 96.52% in the takeover bid that expired on Monday.

According to a notification published in Wednesday's edition of the daily Delo, Dukat acquired 2,025,806 shares or 46.23% of the target company at EUR 8.75 per share, which makes the bid successful.

Dukat initially acquired 50.28% of Ljubljanske mlekarne from Lactalis, which bought the share last year from financial firm NFD Holding, banks Factor banka and KD banka, asset manager KD skladi and holding Sava.

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but the media reported it amounted to close to EUR 20m.

Dukat was then obligated to publish a takeover bid for the outstanding share. Offering EUR 8.75 per share, the Croatian company valued the Slovenian dairy at just over EUR 38m.

The bid was accepted by cooperatives associated in the company Mlekodel, which was outbid in its attempt to take over the Ljubljana-based dairy.

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

With the acquisition, Lactalis plans to consolidate its presence in southeastern Europe, where it already is one of the main market players.

Lactalis employs around 56,000 people in 61 countries. It generated EUR 15.7m in revenues in 2012, 75% outside France.

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