WhiteWave Foods expanding in China

BROOMFIELD – WhiteWave Foods Co. plans to sell its organic dairy products to consumers in China through a joint venture with China Mengniu Diary Company Ltd.

Broomfield-based WhiteWave (NYSE: WWAV) said Monday that it plans to collaborate with the dairy company to buy a separate Chinese company, Yashili Zhengzhou, for $85 million, according to a WhiteWave press release.

Yashili Zhengzhou’s primary asset is a production facility currently under construction in China, according to the release. Mengniu Dairy is a majority owner of Yashili Zhengzhou.

WhiteWave will have a 99 percent stake in the joint venture; Mengniu Dairy will have 51 percent, according to the press release. The joint venture is subject to government approvals in China.

The joint venture supports WhiteWave’s strategy to expand into new markets, Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive of WhiteWave, said in the press release.

“Although we still have a lot of work to do before we begin distributing product, this is another compelling step for WhiteWave, as we continue on our path to change the way the world eats, for the better,” Engles said.

WhiteWave’s dairy product brands include Silk soymilk, Land O’Lakes butter, International Delight coffee creamers and others. China Mengniu Dairy Company Ltd. and its subsidiaries have 52 production plants throughout China, with annual production capacity of 7.59 million tons.

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