February 11/Toronto/Press Release -- Saputo has increased its stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory to more than 80%, edging the Canadian dairy giant's takeover of the Victorian company closer to completion.

Saputo said it had received acceptances of 81.436% of Warrnambool shares.

Saputo, Australia's Bega Cheese and Murray Goulburn Co-operative were involved in a prolonged three-way tussle for control of Warrnambool.

However, the two Australian companies have agreed to sell their stakes in Warrnambool to Saputo.