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Chinese Dairy Raises Additional Growth Capital

Huaxia Dairy Farm Limited announced both that it ha hired a new CEO and closed a USD50 million round of financing.

Jia Qi "George" Zhang will join the company in the newly-created role of CEO effective December 18, 2012. His previous roles include managing director of DeLaval China, a dairy and farming machinery producer headquartered in Sweden and part of the Tetra Laval group, and head of business development for Syngenta China, a global agrochemical company headquartered in Switzerland.

The company also confirmed that an investor group led by Olympus Capital Holdings Asia has invested an additional USD50 million. Other investors include California Technology Ventures, Herostar Holdings and Grand River Capital. The investment proceeds will be used to continue to fund capital expenditures and pursue expansion opportunities.

But while Huaxia plans to grow in China, rivals are looking elsewhere for growth. According to reports in Australian local media, China's Wahaha Group, reportedly plans to invest over CNY200 million to set up a dairy processing plant in Busselton in Western Australia. The new project will be a milk powder plant, which aims to meet the demand of the Chinese market. The project will need thousands of cows and is expected to bring huge benefits to local dairy manufacturers in its initial stage.

Huaxia Dairy was established in 2004 in Sanhe, Hebei, by a group of entrepreneurs focused on creating a world-class dairy farm in China. The milk produced at Huaxia Dairy reportedly meets world class standards and is used to supply major dairy companies in China for their premium products, as well as for the production of Huaxia Dairy's own brands: Wondermilk and Wonderyogurt.

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