Danone has agreed on a deal to buy 49% of the New Zealand-based unit of Hong Kong-listed infant-formula business Yashili International Holdings.

The French food giant, the company behind brands such as Aptamil and Cow & Gate, had signed a memorandum of understanding with Yashili International Holdings in June on a possible deal.

Before Christmas, Danone and Yashili International Holdings reached agreement. Danone is to pay around NZD155.6m (US$103.2m) for the 49% stake in Yashili New Zealand, with an investment subsidiary of Yashili International Holdings, Yashili (HK), holding the rest.

Danone already owns 25% of Yashili International Holdings. China Mengniu Dairy, one of China’s largest dairy companies, owns just over 51% of Yashili International Holdings, which is publicly-listed in Hong Kong. Danone is also a shareholder in China Mengniu Dairy.

Yashili New Zealand has been a supplier of base powder products and dairy ingredients to Danone since 2016.

In a stock-exchange filing announcing the deal with Danone over Yashili New Zealand, China Mengniu Dairy – also listed in Hong Kong – and Yashili International Holdings said the transaction would “enable the Yashili Group to strengthen its strategic partnership with Danone and achieve greater synergies”.

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By GlobalData

Also before Christmas, China Mengniu Dairy announced it had agreed to acquire a majority stake in a subsidiary of local peer China Shengmu Organic Milk.