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Yili inks deal with New Zealand's Westland Milk

2019-03-19

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Representatives from China's Yili Group and Westland Milk in New Zealand sign a conditional agreement in Auckland on March 18. [Photo/Yili Group]

China's largest dairy company Yili Group signed a conditional agreement with New Zealand-based Westland Milk in Auckland on March 18.

Yili offered to purchase 100 percent of shares held in Westland Milk from the company's shareholders and take over its operations.

Zhang Jianqiu, executive president of Yili Group said that the offer would immediately return cash to farmer shareholders, and that the price the company had paid was competitive.

Through the deal, Yili will be able to combine its own expertise and experience with that of Westland, leading to efficiency savings and improved quality, Zhang said.

Yili entered the New Zealand market in 2014 and invested 3 billion yuan ($434.3 million) to build a number of production plants.

The move is part of a major effort by Yili to expand its presence in Oceania and shore up its position as one of the leading dairy firms in Asia.

Westland Milk, New Zealand's second biggest dairy producer after Fonterra has been operating for more than 80 years and sells its products in over 40 countries across the world.