Dutch dairy co-operative giant, Royal FrieslandCampina NV has shortlisted bidders for its infant formula unit Friso, which could be valued at about US$2 billion, and is now pressing ahead to the 2nd round of the auction.
The bidders progressing in the sale process include Baring Private Equity Asia and a consortium comprising Junlebao Dairy Co and Sequoia Capital China. Potential suitors also include buyout firm DCP Capital and strategic rivals China Mengniu Dairy Co and Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co.
Friso, first introduced in the 1960s, is a global infant nutrition brand available in over 25 countries. Its products such as FrisoMum, Friso Gold, Friso Prestige, and many more are manufactured in the Netherlands with milk sourced from FrieslandCampina farms.
Chinese dairy firms, for a period of time, had a bad reputation for selling tainted milk products, started with the 2008 melamine milk scandal. Over the past decade, these companies like Mengniu and Yili have strived to improve on their production technology and safety and hygiene standards to make them on par with their western counterparts. Amazingly, after a strong recovery, these companies are now acquiring their once superior foreign competitors.
For more information, click on:
FrieslandCampina Ingredients (local APAC office)