Conditional approval – acquisition of Bellamy’s Australia

The Treasurer has provided conditional foreign investment approval for the proposed acquisition of Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (Bellamy’s) by China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited (China Mengniu).

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has undertaken an extensive period of consultation that considered a wide range of issues. Consistent with the unanimous recommendation of the FIRB, the Treasurer has concluded the acquisition is not contrary to the national interest.

This approval will ensure Bellamy’s can continue to support jobs in Australia and strengthen its ability to expand its domestic market as well as its export opportunities, particularly into the growing Asian market. The decision will also provide opportunities for the suppliers that contribute to Bellamy’s products, including Australian dairy farmers.

In reviewing the application the Treasurer has imposed enforceable conditions on China Mengniu’s acquisition of Bellamy’s to ensure that this acquisition is not contrary to the national interest.

In particular, the conditions require:

  • a majority of the Bellamy’s Board of Directors to be Australian resident citizens;
  • maintenance of the Bellamy’s headquarters in Australia for at least ten years; and
  • an investment of at least $12 million in establishing or improving infant milk formula processing facilities in Victoria.

These conditions will ensure that Bellamy’s maintains its presence in Australia, and that Bellamy’s proceeds with previously announced investment in infant milk formula processing facilities. Bellamy’s is number four by market share in the Australian infant milk formula market.

The Morrison Government welcomes foreign investment where it is consistent with our national interest. Without foreign capital and investment, Australia’s output, employment and standard of living would be lower.

The conditional approval demonstrates our foreign investment rules can facilitate such an acquisition while giving assurance to the community that decisions are being made in a way which ensures that Australia’s national interest is protected.

These conditions are enforceable under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 and penalties apply to foreign investors that do not comply with their obligations.

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