May 16, 2014 / 7:57 AM / in 4 years

Australia's Goodman agrees to $1.3 bln Wilmar-backed takeover bid

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Singapore edible oils giant Wilmar International (WLIL.SI) and First Pacific Co (0142.HK) are poised to buy Australian bread and dairy company Goodman Fielder GFF.AX for A$1.37 billion ($1.28 billion) after the target backed a sweetened takeover bid on Friday.

In a statement late on Friday, Goodman chairman Steve Gregg said the company’s board will unanimously recommend the offer in the absence of a better one.

    Late on Thursday Wilmar - which already owns 10 percent of Goodman - and First Pacific, a Hong Kong investment firm, raised their offer from a A$1.27 billion bid rebuffed by Goodman last month. The pair said Goodman’s top two shareholders agreed to sell down their stakes by 4.8 percent.

    The higher offer came with a condition that Goodman must agree to it within 24 hours. It also offered shareholders a dividend of A$0.01 per share.

    ($1 = 1.0696 Australian Dollars)

    Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

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