Parmalat jumps after Lactalis takeover bid

SHARES in Italian dairy group Parmalat jumped more than 16 per cent yesterday, after French rival Lactalis launched a €3.4bn (£3.02bn) takeover bid for the company.

Lactalis plans to pay €2.6 per Parmalat share to create the world’s biggest dairy group, with estimated combined annual revenues of €14bn.

The French company’s purchase of 29 per cent of Parmalat in March has spurred Italy to look into ways to stop one of the country’s best-known companies falling into foreign hands.

Lactalis made its bid hours ahead of a meeting between Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Rome.

Berlusconi said he hoped Italian groups would reach an accord with Lactalis after the French group’s bid.