Danone, owner of Activia yogurt and Evian water, will spend about 325 million euros ($417 million) to form a joint venture and invest in China’s biggest dairy producer to expand its brands in the most populous nation.
China Mengniu Dairy Co., the country’s largest dairy producer, agreed to buy 26.9 percent of China Modern Dairy Holdings Ltd. for HK$3.18 billion ($409 million) to gain greater control of milk supplies amid food safety concerns in the country.
Mildewed feed given to cows caused excessive levels of a potentially cancer-causing agent in milk products from China Mengniu Dairy Co. and Fujian Changfu Dairy Industry Group Co., according to the nation’s quality regulator.
Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the world’s largest dairy exporter, assured its biggest customer China that traces of an agricultural chemical found in some milk products posed no health risk, Chief Executive Officer Theo Spierings said.
Synutra International Inc., a Chinese baby formula maker, said its products are safe and it won’t recall any after local news reports that one of the twin infants using the company’s powdered milk died and another became ill.
China Mengniu Dairy Co., the country’s largest milk-products producer, said it isn’t holding talks to buy an unidentified dairy-farming company, two days after a top executive said it had held discussions with China Modern Dairy Holdings Ltd.