Dairy

Murray Goulburn: Chinese dairy company Yili makes substantial offer

21 September 2017

JEFF WHALLEY and BRIDGET CARTER, Herald Sun

A CHINESE dairy juggernaut is courting Australia’s biggest milk processor, Murray Goulburn Cooperative, lobbing a buyout offer for the group, sources say.

Yili, which makes milk products for the Chinese market, is rumoured to the be in the box seat for the struggling Melbourne-based cooperative after tabling a substantial offer, the Herald Sun reports.

Confirming last month that it had slumped into the red during the year to June, Murray Goulburn also revealed it had fielded buyout bids and offers for some of its assets.

A buyout by an offshore group such as Yili would face scrutiny from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Industry experts say any deal would likely need the backing of 90 per cent of Murray Goulburn’s farmer suppliers under its co-op structure. As such, the government would be less likely to overturn a deal even if the review board had concerns, they say.

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