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Fonterra to cut stake in China's Beingmate

New Zealand-based dairy producer Fonterra Co-op Group Ltd. will sell a part of its 18.8% stake in China's Beingmate Baby & Child Food Co. Ltd., according to an Aug. 7 release.

Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell said the move is part of the company's three-point turnaround plan and called its relationship with Beingmate "disappointing" following a strategic review.

"We have talked to a number of parties regarding the potential sale of our entire stake in Beingmate, but so far have been unsuccessful in finding a buyer," Hurrell said in a statement.

"As a result of this, we are now considering selling part of our holding and, as required by local listing rules, need to pre-announce our intention."

Hurrell, however, clarified that China will always be one of Fonterra's most important markets.

"We've got a strong business there and are still very much focused on the areas in China where we can succeed," Hurrell added.

In December 2018, Fonterra and Beingmate agreed to end their Australian joint venture. Fonterra has since regained ownership of its Darnum plant in Victoria. The two companies formed the JV in October 2015, a year after a partnership was formed.