Yunfeng and CITIC PE firms have acquired a stake in Yili

Yunfeng and CITIC PE firms have acquired a stake in Yili

Private-equity firms Yunfeng Capital and CITIC Private Equity Funds Management struck a deal to buy a breeding unit of Chinese dairy giant Yili.

Yunfeng Capital, co-founded by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, and CITIC Private Equity Funds Management have agreed to pay at least CNY2bn (US$320m) for 60% of Inner Mongolia Yili Livestock Development Co.

According to Reuters, the investment is Yunfeng's first in China's food sector. Yili is one of China's biggest dairy groups.

The deal is yet another in a string of private-equity firms investing in Chinese food companies.

At the end of last week COFCO formed a strategic partnership with a consortium of private equity investors, led by KKR and in March, Fosun International agreed to acquire a 20% steak in the Beijing-based dairy company Sanyuan Foods for US$325m.