The square-off between Southcorp and Foster’s continues with Southcorp suggesting the beer-to-wine juggernaut may raise its bid.

While Foster’s said they were ‘confident of success’ at the price of AU$4.17, Southcorp said an offer by Foster’s to increase its payment to the Oatley family in line with any higher offer suggests the bid may be raised.

The Oatley family recently sold its 18.8% majority share in Southcorp to Foster’s, a step which turned out to be the opening move in the complicated courtship of the last week and a half.

‘It’s the responsibility of the directors of Southcorp to stoke up interest, but the reality is that Foster’s is the only offer on the table and we think it is an outstanding offer,’ Foster’s spokeswoman Lisa Keenan said.

‘In order for Foster’s or someone else to succeed, a price of something north of AU$4.17 needs to be paid,’ fund manager Paul Xiradis told the International Herald Tribune. ‘The market is saying a price of AU$4.40 to AU$4.50 would be needed’.

Southcorp has urged shareholders to reject the offer.

Written by Adam Lechmere, and agencies