Thursday, 18 July 2019 16:02

High Court approves Westland sale

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Westland Milk Products' Hokitika site. Westland Milk Products' Hokitika site.

The sale of Westland Milk to Chinese company Yili is now complete.

The High Court today gave the final consent for Yili to take over the co-op from farmer shareholders for $588m.

The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) gave its blessings to the deal earlier this week.

The High Court decision means Westland shareholders will receive an immediate payment of $3.41/share in the company.

Yili already has a presence in New Zealand, after it acquired Oceania Dairy Group in 2013.

It has since invested approximately $660 million in establishing milk powder, infant formula and UHT production lines for Oceania.

Westland shareholders voted overwhelmingly to accept the Yili offer two weeks ago.

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Yili’s ‘silk road’ under construction

Yili's takeover of Westland, the second-largest dairy enterprise in New Zealand, creates a ‘dairy silk road’ between Asia and NZ, says Yili Group chief executive Jianqiu Zhang.

Win-win for West Coast

Former Westland Milk chairman Pete Morrison says Yili’s new ownership represents a significant milestone for the former co-op and the start of a new era for the dairy industry on the West Coast.

Contracts will be respected

Chinese dairy giant Yili says it will respect all contractual obligations to pay current and former milk suppliers of Westland Milk.

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