The bidding war for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter is unlike anything seen in Australia's merger and acquisition space for a number of years.
The fierce three-way tussle to win control of the strategic dairy assets in Victoria has divided the local community and thrust the city of Warrnambool onto the international stage. Despite a board endorsement of the A$9.20 per share offer from Canada's Saputo, the bidding war looks far from over, with Australia's Murray Goulburn Thursday upping its offer to A$9.50 per share.
Speaking this week in Mount Gambier, South Australia, the CEO of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, David Lord told CNBC the board is "open to higher offers but certainty about completion is the reason why it has thrown its support behind the Canadian offer."
(Read more: Australia to be 'odd one out' in 2014: Goldman Sachs)
Murray Goulburn's bid for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter would require approval from Australia's Competition regulator (ACCC), a process that could take three months to complete.