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Period: August 1, 2020 to October 1, 2020
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Yili Now Ranks In Top Five Of World’s Dairy Companies, Rabobank Says

A survey by Dutch multinational banking and financial services company Rabobank ranked Chinese dairy producer Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co., Ltd. (Yili) among the top five dairy producers in the world. According to Yili, Rabobank reported that it is one of the Asian companies “making major moves,” moving into the top five after year-on-year growth of nearly 20 percent. Yili reported a total operating income of 47.53 billion yuan ($7 billion) in the first half of 2020. Yili said recent data showed its current production and sales are “now fully recovered” from the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Yili makes global top 5 in Rabobank's global dairy report", PR Newswire , September 07, 2020

Coca-Cola’s Restructuring Aims To Streamline Operations Globally

As part of the comprehensive reorganization initiative announced last week, Coca-Cola is pruning its Africa business unit from the previous Europe, Africa & Middle East division and making it a distinct operation led by Bruno Pietracci, current Africa & Middle East business unit president. Europe will also stand on its own, led by Nikos Koumettis. The Middle East operations will be combined with Eurasia. Vamsi Mohan Thati, head of the South Pacific business unit, was appointed president of the Greater China business comprising mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Mongolia. South Korea will be paired with Japan as a single unit. Latin America, Europe, and North America will also have new operational leaders. Lastly, T. Krishnakumar, president of the India and Southwest Asia business unit, was named chairman of Coca-Cola India, and Sanket Ray, COO of the Mainland China business, was named president of India and Southwest Asia.

"The Coca-Cola Co splits off Africa in structural overhaul", just-drinks, September 04, 2020

Nestlé SA To Sell China Water Business To Tsingtao

The Swiss company said the sale to Tsingtao Brewery Group, which will include local brand “Dashan Yunnan Shan Quan” and factories in Kunming, Shanghai, and Tianjin, is part of a strategic cooperation agreement with the Chinese brewer. Tsingtao will produce and market the Nestlé “Pure Life” brand in China as part of a licensing agreement. Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.

"Nestlé says will sell China water business to Tsingtao Brewery Group", Reuters, August 28, 2020

Nongfu Spring’s Hong Kong IPO Expected To Raise $1B+

The Hangzhou, China-based beverage maker could raise more than a billion dollars by pricing its shares as high as $2.77 in its Hong Kong initial public offering. The company, which is selling 388.2 million shares, will start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sept. 8. Five cornerstone investors have subscribed for stock in the sale, including fund manager Fidelity, hedge fund Coatue, and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. The $1.08 billion IPO will be one of the largest in Hong Kong in 2020.

"China's Nongfu Spring to raise $1.1 bln in Hong Kong IPO", Reuters, August 25, 2020

Australia May Block Kirin Holdings Sale Of Lion Dairy & Drinks To Chinese Firm

An Australian Financial Review report citing an unnamed source says “diplomatic issues” may be behind a government decision to block China Mengniu Dairy’s purchase of Lion Dairy & Drinks, owned by Japan’s Kirin Holdings. Australia’s competition regulator approved the $429 million sales in February, but the sale is opposed by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. The new comes against a backdrop of deteriorating diplomatic relations between Australia and China, after Canberra called for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. China, meanwhile, recently imposed dumping tariffs on Australian barley and halted beef imports from four Australian firms. China is Australia’s largest trading partner.

"Australian government may block China Mengniu Dairy-Lion purchase deal", FoodBev Media , August 20, 2020

Swire, COFCO Announce Further Investment Plans In China

Two Coca-Cola China bottling partners have announced plans to further expand production capacity and build local supply chains in the country. Swire Coca-Cola (Hong Kong) plans to put six new production lines into operation, with a total investment of 250 million yuan ($36 million) and an additional annual output value exceeding 1.7 billion yuan ($245 million). The company will also add a plastic bottle production line to its plant in central China's Hubei Province, which is expected to be operational in May 2021. COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd. (Beijing), a joint venture with Coca-Cola, is building a 270 million yuan ($39 million) factory in southwestern province of Guizhou, its first in that region. The new plant, scheduled for operation by the end of 2021, will start with two advanced PET soda production lines with an annual capacity of 170,000 tons.

"Coca-Cola continues to expand investment in China supply chain", Xinhuanet, August 17, 2020

Nongfu Spring Plans $1B Public Stock Offering in Hong Kong Next Month

The Chinese bottled water maker is expected to list its shares in Hong Kong as early as September if the IPO proceeds. Hangzhou-based Nongfu Spring reported a 17.3 percent year-on-year increase in total revenue to ¥24 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) in 2019, up from ¥20 billion yuan a year ago. It also recorded a 2019 profit of ¥4.95 billion yuan, a 20.6 percent increase from 3.61 billion yuan in 2018, according to its prospectus filed in April. The company’s planned development strategies include brand building, expansion of production capacity, investment in infrastructures, and exploration of overseas market opportunities. It is finalizing the purchase of its first overseas water source and production plant, Otakiri Springs, in New Zealand.

"Chinese Bottled Water Giant Nongfu Spring Prepares for $1 Billion Hong Kong IPO in September", Pandaily, August 03, 2020

Luckin Coffee Chain Faces Punitive Actions After Financial Fraud Confirmed

After Chinese investigators confirmed that the Luckin Coffee chain, the country’s answer to Starbucks, had committed $300 million accounting fraud, the Ministry of Finance announced it would punish the company. The agency investigated two Luckin subsidiaries, as well as related companies and 23 financial institutions relating to the scandal, confirming that the coffee chain had fabricated sales of 2.25 billion yuan ($322 million) and revenue of 2.12 billion yuan ($304 million), and said it will move take punitive action that will be made public later. The scandal led to Washington tightening scrutiny of Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges. Luckin Coffee’s business model was built on outselling  rivals by quickly expanding its outlets and offering deep discounts to build the customer base. 

"Beijing watchdogs to punish Luckin Coffee, related firms after confirming US$300 million accounting fraud", South China Morning Post, July 31, 2020

China’s Wholly Moly Wants To Replace Rice With Whole Grains In Country’s Diet

The young Shanghai-based company has its marketing eyes fixed on the country’s younger, more health-conscious generation with its instant oatmeal made of oat bran. The company raised several million dollars from C Ventures, led by a Hong Kong billionaire, to take advantage of China’s burgeoning health food market. “China has a severe lack of wholegrain food options,” said Claire Fang, founder and chief executive. “We want to introduce [whole grains] into young people’s diet in a way that is easy for them to embrace.” The market for natural health food in China is forecast to expand to $26 billion in value by 2022, an annual rate of 12 percent since 2017. Wholly Moly, which generates 90 percent of its income from e-commerce channels, including a store on Tmall, posted sales of $15 million in 2019 and hopes to triple that this year. The company works with farms and milling factories in the Midwest and northern U.S. as well as southern Canada, because the oats harvested there are said to ...  More

"Health food start-up Wholly Moly aims to shake up the Chinese diet, swapping rice for American wholemeal oats", South China Morning Post, July 24, 2020

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