Beijing: Chinese dairy company Mengniu announced Monday it had made a takeover offer for Australian infant formula producer Bellamy’s in a deal valued at around US 1 billion. Hong Kong-listed Mengniu has been eyeing global expansion in recent years, and said it was drawn by the Australian group’s local operations and supply chain, as well as its “leading organic brand position”. “Our sales growth ambitions for Bellamy’s in Australia, and the broader Asia Pacific region, will see investment in the local dairy industry to ensure the required capacity is in place to achieve these plans,” Mengniu CEO Lu Minfang said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange Monday. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal Under the proposed deal, Mengniu would pay AUS 12.65 ( 8.69) per share plus a shareholder dividend, marking a 59 percent premium on Bellamy’s Friday closing share price. Bellamy’s CEO Andrew Cohen said that Mengniu offered a “strong platform for distribution and success in China”, The board of directors at the Australian group have given their support to the takeover, which still needs to receive approval from the company’s shareholders and Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost According to a separate Mengniu statement on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, infant milk formula is one of the largest and fastest-growing segments among China’s dairy industry, driven by increasing disposable income and growing spending on children. Bellamy’s share price soared by more than 50 per cent on Monday when the proposed deal was announced. Earlier this year, the International Olympic Committee announced that Coca-Cola and Mengniu had signed a deal to become joint sponsors of the Olympic Games from 2021 to 2032.