Fonterra to invest in Chinese dairy business

Global dairy cooperative Fonterra will buy a 20-percent stake in Chinese dairy giant Beingmate to increase its access to China's infant milk market, Beingmate has announced.

The Shenzhen-listed firm said on Monday evening that Fonterra will invest 3.68 billion yuan (599 million U.S. dollars) to become Beingmate's major shareholder.

The deal is expected to be completed within a month, providing it is approved by China's Securities Regulatory Commission.

After the share transfer, Beingmate and Fonterra will build a joint-venture milk powder factory in Victoria, Australia. Beingmate will invest more than 185 million U.S. dollars in the factory, in which it will have a 51-percent ownership, it said.

Beingmate is based in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, and is the third-biggest Chinese dairy firm in terms of production.

With an annual dairy processing output of 22 billion liters, Fonterra is the world's largest dairy processor and exporter. In addition to consumer brands such as Mainland cheese and Anchor butter, it is also the world's largest dairy ingredients supplier to Nestle and McDonald's.

Fonterra's reputation was damaged in the 2008 scandal over melamine-tainted baby formula produced by China's Sanlu Group. Fonterra bought a 43 percent-stake in Sanlu in 2005.


Reproduced from CHINADAILY.COM.CN