Takeover backed by Bellamy’s board

By Dairy News

Bellamy’s Organic, a 15-year-old company established in Tasmania, is being taken over by a Chinese company in a deal that values the milk powder company at about $1.5 billion.

Bellamy’s entered into a scheme Implementation deed with Mengniu Bellamy’s Australia Limited, under which it is proposed that China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited will acquire 100 per cent of the issued share capital of Bellamy’s via a scheme of arrangement.

If the scheme proceeds, it is intended that Bellamy’s shareholders receive a total of $13.25 cash per share.

The company earned net revenue of $266 million in the past financial year and recorded a $21 million net after tax profit.

Bellamy’s board of directors has unanimously recommend that Bellamy’s shareholders vote in favour of the scheme, in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to an independent expert concluding that the scheme is in the best interests of Bellamy’s shareholders.

Each director of Bellamy’s intends to vote all the Bellamy’s shares that he or she holds or controls in favour of the scheme, subject to those same qualifications.

Bellamy’s chair, John Ho, said the proposed scheme was an attractive all-cash transaction at a 59 per cent premium to the prevailing share price.

“It reflects the strength of the Bellamy’s brand, the dedication of 160 passionate employees and the progress of our turnaround plan,” he said.

Bellamy’s deputy chair, John Murphy, added: “Following careful consideration of the offer, the Bellamy’s board has unanimously concluded that the scheme is in the best interests of shareholders.”

Bellamy’s chief executive officer, Andrew Cohen, said Mengniu was a pre-eminent dairy company in China and an ideal partner for the business.

“This transaction can further deliver on our founder’s original vision of a truly iconic Australian brand and ‘A Pure Start to Life’ for the world. Our employees, our trade partners and local organic manufacturers will continue to grow and thrive with the success of our business.”

Mengniu’s chief executive officer, Mr Jeffrey, Minfang Lu, said: “Bellamy’s is a leading Australian brand with a proud Tasmanian heritage and track record of supplying high-quality organic products to Australian mums and dads”.