(Yicai Global) Nov. 15 -- Mengniu Dairy, one of China's largest dairies, has won conditional approval from the Australian government to buy infant formula maker Bellamy for AUD1.5 billion (USD1 billion).
The Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approved the takeover, Beijing News reported today, citing a statement from Bellamy today. But among other conditions, Mengniu must keep the Tasmania-based firm's headquarters in Australia for at least 10 years and most of its board members must be Australian residents.
Mengniu must also invest at least AUD12 million (USD8.2 million) to improve or set up processing plants in Victoria state, according to Treasurer of Australia Josh Frydenberg. The conditions will enhance Bellamy's exports, especially in the growing Asian market, and ensure it continues to provide jobs for Australia, he added.
Mengniu will complete the purchase by the end of this year for a total consideration of no more than AUD1.5 billion, the Hohhot-based company said in a September statement. Mengniu's priority is to tap Bellamy's brand potential and help it with marketing in China, President Lu Minfang said earlier.
Bellamy will release high-end organic goat's milk powder and super high-end organic milk powder products next year, an executive said during the recent China International Import Expo in Shanghai. The Chinese version of organic rice flour and DHA fermented milk puree will also be available to offline consumers from next March.