Fonterra has agreed to divest its two joint venture (JV) farms in Shandong province, China, to AustAsia Investment Holdings.
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The farms will be sold to Singapore-based AustAsia for $115.5 million. Fonterra has a 51% stake in the farms and will receive NZD 88 million ($62.1 million approx.) in sale proceeds.

Fonterra previously announced plans to divest the joint venture farms in a move to prioritise New Zealand milk.

The newly announced deal with AustAsia follows the sale of Fonterra’s wholly owned China farming hubs, which was completed earlier this year.

“The sale of the JV farms allows us to focus even more on our farmer owners’ milk and follows the sale of our two wholly owned China farming hubs earlier this year,” said Fonterra CEO, Miles Hurrell.

“Greater China continues to be one of our most important strategic markets. We remain committed to our China business, bringing the goodness of New Zealand milk to Chinese customers in innovative ways and partnering with local Chinese companies to do so. We are well placed to continue to grow our business in Greater China.”

According to Fonterra, the sale of the JV farms requires no further regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be completed on 30 June.

Nominations are open for Fonterra’s board election but a repeat of the drama that rocked the vote three years ago can be ruled out.

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