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China's Yili to acquire Westland Milk for $403M

Westland Co-operative Dairy Co. Ltd. has agreed to sell itself to Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co. Ltd. for NZ$3.41 per share, or a total consideration of NZ$588 million (US$402.7 million), according to a March 18 release.

The deal will see the New Zealand-based dairy company be acquired by Hongkong Jingang Trade Holding Co. Ltd., a wholly owned Yili subsidiary.

Westland said it had explored ownership options due to its inability to deliver competitive milk payout in recent years. "The board believes that the proposed transaction represents the best available outcome for our shareholders, and has the unanimous support of the board," Westland chairman Pete Morrison said.

The proposed transaction is subject to a scheme of arrangement, which requires the approval of 75% or more of shareholders who vote and more than 50% of the votes of all shareholders with voting rights. It is also subject to New Zealand High Court approval, the company said.