Mengniu Dairy opt out of Lion deal

Beverage giant Lion and China-based Mengniu Dairy have agreed to part ways on the $600 million deal that was supposed to have the Chinese company take over brands such as Pura milk, Dare iced coffee and Yoplait yoghurt.

The sale was abandoned after federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg made it clear that the Foreign Review Board was unlikely to approve of the sale. “contrary to the national interest”.

The sale was announced last November, but soon caught the eye of government regulators, who Frydenberg said and found that the sale was contrary to national interests.

It comes on the back of several similar issues including China imposing tariffs on Australian barley, and starting an investigation of alleged dumping cheap Australian wine onto the Chinese market.

Lion realeased a statement stating the deal was no longer viable.

“Lion notes that China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited has been awaiting the outcome of the Foreign Investment Review Board review of its proposed purchase of Lion Dairy & Drinks,” the statement said.

“Given this approval is unlikely to be forthcoming at this time, Lion and Mengniu Dairy have mutually agreed to cease the current sale process.

“We are disappointed with this outcome and will now consider pathways forward in relation to the Lion Dairy & Drinks business.”

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