FrieslandCampina has said its joint venture with China’s Huishan Dairy remains up and running despite the Dutch co-operative giant’s troubled local partner still being unable to publish details of its financial position.
On Tuesday, Huishan Dairy, which since March has been rocked by allegations of misappropriation of funds by Yang – claims denied – and the collapse of its board of directors, said it “is still in the course of verifying its financial position“.
In March, when the allegations first surfaced and shares in Huishan Dairy first sank and were then suspended, FrieslandCampina said the companies’ infant-formula venture was still running, although the Netherlands-based dairy giant said it was “closely monitoring the situation”.
Asked this week for FrieslandCampina’s latest position on the situation at Huishan Dairy, a spokesperson referred just-food to the co-op’s statement in March, a statement he said was “still valid”.
FrieslandCampina set up with its venture with Huishan Dairy in 2015. The venture, based in China’s north-eastern Liaoning province, was set up to manufacture and market infant milk formula under FrieslandCampina’s Dutch Lady brand. The business also produces tea and coffee creamers. Huishan Dairy provides the milk for the venture.
Both companies own a 50% stake in the business. In the March statement, FrieslandCampina said it had “full management control” of the venture.
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On Tuesday, Huishan Dairy also outlined plans to give creditors shares in the business, with the Chinese group also proposing to hand a stake to management while the company looks for a “white knight”.
Asked if FrieslandCampina was interested in becoming a white knight and buying Huishan Dairy, the co-op’s spokesperson said: “We do not comment.”