Chinese milk products producer New Hope Dairy is not planning to acquire Friso, an infant formula brand made by Dutch multinational dairy cooperative Royal FrieslandCampina, Chairman Xi Gang told Yicai Global yesterday in response to market speculation.
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China’s New Hope Dairy Is Not Buying Dutch Milk Powder Brand Friso, Chairman Says

Yicai Global was informed recently by a person familiar with the matter that four companies are vying to acquire Friso, the seventh-largest milk powder brand in the world which had sales of over CNY2 billion (USD314 million) in China last year. One company has been shortlisted and it is a Chinese dairy firm, the insider said. Negotiations are ongoing, he added.

Amersfoort-based Royal FrieslandCampina’s infant nutrition business Friso is undergoing a strategic review, with the aim of seizing opportunities to ensure its continued success, Chief Executive Officer Hein Schumacher said on Dec. 14.

Following the acquisition of US baby milk brand Mead Johnson by Chinese investment firm Primavera Capital Group in June and Chinese dairy company Yili Industrial Group’s purchase of a majority stake in Dutch dairy company Ausnutria Dairy Corp. in October, the market has been rife with rumors that Friso is next in line to have a Chinese owner.

Chengdu-based New Hope Dairy logged a 38 percent surge in profit in the first three quarters from the same period last year to CNY260 million (USD40.8 million). Revenue jumped 42.8 percent to CNY6.65 billion (USD1 billion). Its share price [SHE:002946] was trading down 0.13 percent at CNY15.77 (USD2.50) as of 1 p.m. China time today.

The delay in details being issued on the proposed dairy reduction scheme is “playing with the futures” of farm families, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

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