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Fonterra buys 18.8% stake in Beingmate

2015-03-21 10:02 China Daily Web Editor: Li Yan

Fonterra Co-operative Group, the world's largest dairy exporter, completed its purchase of 18.8 percent of equity shares from Chinese infant food maker Beingmate Baby & Child Food Co Ltd on Friday.

The New Zealand dairy giant said it is going to work on increasing its stake to 20 percent. The purchase at 18 yuan ($2.87) per share would cost Fonterra 3.46 billion yuan.

Fonterra Chief Executive Theo Spierings said that the completion of the purchase of an 18.8 percent stake in Beingmate is an important milestone for both companies.

"We will seek to create a fully integrated global supply chain from the farm gate to consumers in China using Fonterra's milk pools and manufacturing sites in New Zealand, Australia and Europe," said Spierings.

"The partnership will give Chinese consumers access to high quality, safe and reliable dairy products. It will provide a platform for Beingmate to advance its ambitions to become a globally recognized child and infant food brand, and it will enable Fonterra to strengthen and expand the availability of our Anmum infant nutrition products in China," said Spierings.

Fonterra had previously said it would invest NZ$1.17 billion ($877 million) in forming the partnership and building new processing capacity to meet export demand.

Spierings said it plans to invest NZ$1.5 billion and build up production capacity in China to 1 billion liters by 2020. Training and education of Chinese dairy farmers will be also on the top agenda, he said.

Beingmate Chairman Wang Zhentai said the partnership will see its business take another significant step forward in its globalization.

Song Kungang, chairman of China Dairy Industry Association, said the move is well-aligned with the Chinese government's intention to see a strengthened focus on quality and safety in China's dairy industry and foster cooperation between local and international players.

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