Chinese dairy firm to buy Bellamy’s Australia in $1.5 billion deal

China Mengniu Dairy Co. has agreed to acquire organic infant formula maker Bellamy’s Australia for AUS$1.5 billion, after the Tasmania-based company’s board unanimously recommended the offer.

China’s second largest dairy producer offered $13.25 per share for Bellamy’s on Monday – a 59% premium on the stock’s last closing price. The deal remains subject to approval by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board.

The acquisition will help Mengniu extend its portfolio into premium products, with Bellamy’s a stalwart of supermarket shelves in Australia since it began producing formula in 2004.

“It gives them a complete product portfolio across lower and higher-end products,” said UOB Kay Hian analyst Robin Yuen. “Bellamy’s is a very strong and internationally recognised brand.”

Meanwhile, Bellamy’s chief executive Andrew Cohen said: “Mengniu is a preeminent dairy company in China and an ideal partner for our business.

“It offers a strong platform for distribution and success in China, and a foundation for growth in the organic dairy and food industry in Australia.”