Commodities

China Mengniu gets Australian approval for buyout of infant formula maker Bellamy's

Credit: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON

Australia has conditionally approved China Mengniu Dairy Co's A$1.43 billion ($980.27 million) takeover of infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia Ltd, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday.

Adds details of takeover, background

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Australia has conditionally approved China Mengniu Dairy Co's 2319.HK A$1.43 billion ($980.27 million) takeover of infant formula maker Bellamy's Australia Ltd BAL.AX, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said on Friday.

The Treasurer said the acquisition was not against national interests, dispelling concerns from some analysts and investors that Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board would stick to its hard-line stance on Chinese takeovers.

The conditions include keeping Bellamy's headquarters in Australia for at least 10 years, the majority of its board be Australian citizens living in the country and an investment of at least A$12 million at processing facilitates in Victoria, a statement said.

"This approval will ensure Bellamy's can continue to support jobs in Australia and strengthen its ability to expand its domestic market as well as its export opportunities," the statement by Frydenberg said.

Ever since the takeover offer was made in September, Bellamy's shares have remained just below the total offer price of A$13.25.

Bellamy's has spent years awaiting approval to sell product in its target market, China. The approval offers Bellamy's shareholders a way to cash out, while giving Mengniu a prized consumer brand.

($1 = 1.4588 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Byron Kaye and Grant McCool)

((NikhilKurian.Nainan@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @NikhilKurianN; +91 806 749 1637;))

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