AUSTRALIA: Foster's expected to lift Southcorp bid

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Foster's Group Ltd is expected to announce that it is lifting its offer for fellow Australian Southcorp, transforming three months of corporate hostility into a friendly takeover.

Shares in Southcorp and Foster's were halted from trading yesterday, pending an announcement. Foster's confirmed that talks between the two had resumed which "may or may not lead to a revised takeover offer."

At the same time, Foster's extended the closing date for its A$4.14 per share takeover for the fourth time. The deadline was shifted from 28 April to 12 May.

Today the Australian Financial Review reported that Foster's was set to increase its offer by as much as A$0.15 a share, valuing the acquisition at A$3.2bn (US$2.48bn) - A$82m more than the current bid.

The newspaper also said the sweetened offer may involve a mechanism whereby brokerage fees are waived, making it easier for Southcorp shareholders to invest in Foster's.

Foster's said it expects to make a statement before trading starts on Friday morning.

Sectors: Wine

Companies: Foster’s Group Ltd

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