FIRB approves $1.5bn Bellamy's takeover

Shares of Bellamy's had halved in the year and a half before it announced the Mengniu buyout in September due to delays getting approval to ship product to the Chinese mainland

Shares of Bellamy's had halved in the year and a half before it announced the Mengniu buyout in September due to delays getting approval to ship product to the Chinese mainland

The former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce says he is "disappointed to see yet another piece of Australia sold to the Chinese" after the federal government approved the $1.5bn takeover of Bellamy's by China Mengniu Dairy Company.

Bellamy's CEO Andrew Cohen described Mengniu as an "ideal partner".

The company will have to remain headquartered in Australia for a decade and run by a majority Australian board.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg backed the approval but insisted that certain conditions were imposed.

"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" said a statement from Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's office.

'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, ' he said.

It also included that at least $12 million be invested in improving or establishing infant milk formula processing facilities in Victoria.

Bellamy's, Australia's fourth-largest baby formula producer, already generates significant sales in China.

Mengniu Dairy is one of China's largest dairy manufacturing and distribution company and is partly owned by the Chinese Government's China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation.

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After a lengthy wait, Bellamy's is still waiting on backing from China's State Administration for Market Regulations to sell organic formula in stores. It was trading at $12.95 on Thursday.

Frydenberg said the government would continue to welcome foreign investment "where it is consistent with our national interest". Two Sinosteel subsidiaries paid a peppercorn price of $3 each for 50% stakes each.

Frydenberg said foreign investment under the appropriate conditions was important for Australia.

"Without foreign capital and investment, Australia's output, employment and standard of living would be lower, " he said.

The Government has enforced these conditions with full knowledge of community concerns that local baby formula is being snapped up by Chinese customers.

'I think I'm like millions of Australians out there who are very concerned about the Communist Chinese takeover, ' she told the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday. "We need to know more about the undertakings that have been given and that they'll be followed through". Ltd.'s 2016 takeover of Australia's biggest dairy farm, Tasmania's VDL Farms.

In a more scathing attack, Ms Hanson called on Mr Frydenberg to overturn the decision.

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has undertaken an extensive period of consultation that considered a wide range of issues.

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