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Danone to buy Yashili International Holdings

Staff writer |
Danone SA will buy a 25 percent stake in Chinese milk powder maker Yashili International Holdings for $550 million as it looks to increase its footprint in China's fast-growing dairy sector.

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Danone will pay HK$3.7 per share in a private placement deal. The tie-up will focus on China's infant milk formula market, set to hit $17.8 billion this year, according to Euromonitor.

China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd (2319.HK), Yashili's majority shareholder, will see its stake diluted to 51.04 percent from 68.05 percent, according to a company filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday.

"We are today strengthening the winning team formed by Danone and Mengniu by acquiring an equity stake in Yashili - combining Mengniu's wide-reaching network in China with Danone's international expertise in infant milk products," Danone's CEO Emmanuel Faber said in a statement.

The deal, expected to be finalized in the coming months, still needs shareholder approval.

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