Buyer found for Sanlu in wake of melamine scandal

Posted by James Ferre on 5th March 2009

An auction of the company at the centre of last year’s melamine dairy contamination has found a buyer, with Sanyuan buying Sanlu for 617 million yuan (A$145 million), China news agency Xinhua reported.

Beijing-based dairy producer Sanyuan Group won the bidding for all valid assets and stake ownership of Sanlu Dairy Group, which was declared bankrupt last month by a Chinese court.

The auction came after Tian Wenhua, the former Sanlu Chair, was jailed for life and fined $3.6 million for her role in the scandal, with three other former executives of the company also receiving jail terms.

About 300,000 infants fell ill and at least six died after consuming dairy products criminally contaminated by melamine in powdered milk.

Only Chinese companies without exposure to the tragedy were allowed to bid, with the battle between two bidders playing out for 15 minutes, Xinhua said.