Taiwan-based pharma group Center Laboratories and its majority-owned subsidiary Bioengine Capital have agreed to take a 25.84% stake in Hong Kong-listed infant formula group Ausnutria.

The investors have paid HK$795.05m (US$102.5m) for the stake. The price, equivalent to HK$3 per share, represents a premium of 12.36% over Monday's (10 November) closing price.

Upon the completion of the shares transfer, the original founding team of Ausnutria will holding approximately 33.1% of the outstanding shares, remaining the majority shareholder.

Ausnutria chairman Yan Weibin said the tie-up would strengthen the group's quality and food safety credentials. "The transaction is based on the overall strategy of the company's comprehensive development. I believe that with the invaluable experience of Center Lab in strict control on quality and food safety, Ausnutria can enjoy the synergy, provide outstanding products with more quality assurance to customers, enrich the company's product line, enhance the company's governance structure and regulatory experience, as well as strengthen the implementation of internationalised strategies."

Center Lab is a Taiwan-based pharmaceutical firm and its subsidiary, Bioengine, produces high-end functional probiotic powder.