The Chaozhou City, Guangdong-based company, which manufactures and distributes infant milk formula in China, has announced its intention to establish a manufacturing facility in NZ.
The planned 1.1 billion yuan ($210 million) processing plant, with capacity to process more than 50,000 tonnes of finished and semi-finished products annually, is looking to be up and running in the second half of next year.
The announcement, posted on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, said board approval had been given and further detail, including location in NZ, would be released once all the planning conditions had been met.
Companies Office records show Yashili New Zealand Dairy Co was incorporated on July 18, 2012, with the Yashili International Group listed as the 100% shareholder.
The company is reported to have entered into a conditional agreement to buy land where the facility will operate but the acquisition is subject to Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approval.
While the site for the proposed processing plant has not been formalised, it is understood the likely location to be in Waikato, where there are currently at least two blocks of land with existing consents.
Further announcement in respect of the company’s investment in the NZ facility would be made following the approval of government authorities, Yashili chairman Zhang Lidian said.
Yashili, which sources most of its raw milk from NZ, will spend 950 million yuan ($181m) on acquiring land and building the plant and a further 150 million yuan ($28.6m) as working capital for its NZ subsidiary.
The investment follows hot on the heels of China’s Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group’s plan to spend about $214m buying the Oceania Dairy Group and planning to build a milk powder plant in South Canterbury.
Yashili was set up by brothers Zhang Lidian and Zhang Likun in 1998 and is controlled by the Zhang family. Chairman Zhang Lidian is on the Chinese committee of the International Dairy Federation and serves as a representative for the Guangdong province in the National People’s Congr ess, Yashili’s website says.
Yashili’s primary focus is on the production and sale of paediatric milk formula products and nutritional food. In 2002 it launched the Scient brand paediatric milk formula from its headquarters in the Guangdong province. The company also has plants in Shanxi and Heilongjiang.
Yashili also has a leading position in the soymilk powder market in China. The company has two well-recognised brands, under which various product series are sold targeting different consumer segments.
Soymilk powder and paediatric rice flour are sold under the Yashily brand, cereal under the Zhengwei brand and milk powder for adults and teenagers under the Youyi brand.