China Mengniu Dairy Co climbed to the highest in 10 months in Hong Kong trading after gaining HK$6.12 billion ($790 million) of capital from COFCO (Hong Kong) Ltd and Hopu Investment Management Co.
Mengniu, China's biggest maker of liquid milk, jumped 10 percent to HK$21.05 as of 10:19 am local time. The stock was raised to "neutral" from "underperform" at Credit Suisse AG.
COFCO, part of China's biggest grain trader, and Hopu will acquire a 20 percent stake from the dairy company and shareholders, Mengniu said yesterday. The investors will be the biggest stakeholders in Mengniu.
"The added financial support, new partners in place and potential merger and acquisition deals support a stronger sales outlook ahead," Credit Suisse analyst Catherine Lim wrote in a note today. "This addition will serve well for Mengniu's mergers and acquisition activities across different markets in China and in the longer term, could serve as a platform for overseas ventures."
The shares will be sold at HK$17.60 apiece to a special purpose vehicle in which COFCO will own 70 percent, with the remainder held by Hopu, Mengniu said yesterday. Hopu is a $2.5 billion fund run by Goldman Sachs Group Inc's China partner Fang Fenglei.
Credit Suisse also raised Mengniu's target price to HK$19.60 from HK$9.10.
The Chinese government on July 3 said it will encourage mergers in the dairy industry to improve quality.
Mengniu was one of the 22 dairy producers found to have sold milk containing melamine during last year's tainted milk scandal. It and other major dairies like Yili and Bright Dairy all saw major sales declines in the scandal's wake, leaving them needing cash to fund their sprawling operations.