Thursday, 04 July 2019 14:56

Yili thanks Westland shareholders for strong vote of confidence

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Chinese dairy company Yili has thanked Westland Milk shareholders for their faith shown in allowing it to become custodians of one of New Zealand’s most trusted brands.

Westland Milk Products shareholders today voted overwhelmingly in favour of selling all shares in the cooperative to Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd.

Almost 94% of the votes cast supported the sale at $3.41/share. “We are deeply honoured that Westland shareholders have shown such strong faith in Yili to become the custodians of one of New Zealand’s most trusted brands,’’ Zhang said.

“We understand how important the dairy industry is, not only to this region, but to New Zealand, and we take seriously the trust Westland’s farmers have placed in us.

“We see the future very much as a partnership arrangement with Westland farmers and want to use our expertise, resources and access to growing international markets to build a brighter future for the company, its farmers and the community.’’

The Yili offer is now subject to review by the Overseas Investment Office and the High Court. If passed, farmer shareholders will receive an immediate cash payment of $3.41 per share, as well as a ten-year guaranteed competitive milk payout.

Zhang said it was important for Yili to offer its farmers milk price and advance payment terms that would ensure the future viability and sustainability of its business partners.

“At our Oceania processing plant at Glenavy, we have increased the average price and advance percentages to local dairy farmers because we believe that supporting our farmers and their families is the best way to achieve our business goals. “If our offer is passed, we will be working in a similar way with Westland to build a strong and secure future for Westland Milk.”

Westland chairman Pete Morrison said shareholders had shown strong support for the proposal.

“When the Board initiated the strategic review process, we did so with the full understanding that all Westland farming families needed to have a competitive milk payout. We know this has been, and is, a driving need for all shareholders.”

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