Kirin says no plan to sell Warrnambool stake to Saputo

SYDNEY Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:37am EST

SYDNEY Jan 23 (Reuters) - Japanese beverage company Kirin Holdings Co Ltd said on Thursday it had "no current intention" to sell its 10 percent stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory Co Holdings Ltd to Canada's Saputo Inc.

Saputo has just cleared another hurdle to takeover Warrnambool, Australia's oldest dairy maker and will increase its stake to more than 75 percent after rival bidder Murray Goulburn bowed out.

Kirin's local unit Lion, which holds 10 percent stake in Warrnambool, said it had no plan to accept Saputo's offer.

"Lion looks forward to continuing to strengthen its relationship with WCB," a Lion spokesman said.

(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Matt Driskill)