Yili forays into the infant formula and nutrition with acquisition of stake in Ausnutria Dairy

CHINA –  Yili, China’s largest dairy company, is set to acquire a 34.33% stake in Netherlands-based producer of infant formula brands Ausnutria as a step to move into the infant formula and nutrition product business. 

Yili is making the acquisition through its wholly owned subsidiary Hong Kong Jingang Trade Holding Co., Ltd.  

Jingang will acquire a total of “531 million shares held by previous shareholders at a price of HK$10.06 per share, which represents approximately 30.89% of the total number of issued shares of Ausnutria,” the company said in a statement.

“Ausnutria will issue 90 million new shares to Jingang at a price of HK$10.06 per share,” taking the company’s total shareholding to 34.33%.  

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If successful in its endevour, the Chinese dairy company will become the largest single shareholder of Ausnutria.    

The new partnership will strengthen Yili’s position within the milk formula space and help the company to successfully enter the nutrition products market.   

Infant formula is a category Yili said it will focus on to tap into its full potential in the future and the acquisition of a significant stake in Ausnutria is a positive move towards this direction. 

According to the latest data from Nielsen, in August 2021, Yili’s Jinlingguan Series took the lead among all brands of its kind in terms of the growth rate of all channels in the Chinese market.  

Yili said it is also capturing a growing share of the goat milk infant formula market; the newly launched Jinlingguan UITSTEKEND GEITENMELK has seen a surge in sales as high as 200%, according to the company.  

Ausnutria addition to Yili’s portfolio is a great boost to the company’s infant formula business as its Kabrita goat milk formula brand has become a flagship product in China’s infant formula market.  

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According to Nielsen, Ausnutria has had a share of more than 60% in China’s market of imported goat milk formula for three consecutive years since 2018 and topped the world in total sales of goat milk formula. 

Pan Gang, chairman of Yili Group, said at the signing of the deal that in the years to come, Yili will bring into full play its strengths in terms of company size, brand building, channels and industrial chain to enable Ausnutria’s development over the long term.  

He said the cooperation is expected to form synergies and blaze new trails in the fields of milk powder, dairy products, and other health food. 

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