Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (China)

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Yili Group is China's biggest dairy producer, the #1 across Asia in that sector and now the #8 globally. It operates in four main segments of liquid milk, infant and adult formula milk powder, chilled yoghurts and yoghurt-based drinks, and ice cream. Key products include Yili-brand, Satine and Ambrosial milk and yoghurt, Pro-Kido milk powder, Chang Qing and Mei Yi Tian drinking yoghurts, and Chocliz and Gemice ice creams. In 2016, it attempted to acquire a controlling stake in China's leading organic dairy Shengmu, but the deal was blocked by regulators. Although the majority of its business is generated in the domestic market, Yili has begun to establish a wider international presence, with local operations in New Zealand, Indonesia and Pakistan, and a partnership in Europe with Italy's Sterilgarda. It also has R&D facilities in the Netherlands and the US. Revenues have grown steadily every year since 1996, reaching RMB 68bn (approx $10.5bn) in 2017. Yili had around 22% share of China's dairy sector in 2015 (compared to 17% for main rival Mengniu). All Chinese dairy producers were tarnished by contamination scandals in the early 2000s when locally produced milk powder was found to be adulterated with chemicals, poisoning thousands of babies. As a result, Yili and other local producers lost considerable share to foreign brands in the infant formula segment, and have been unable to regain their former position. However Yili remains very strong in other segments, especially liquid milk, which accounts for more than 80% of revenues. Pan Gang is executive chairman & CEO. His predecessor Zheng Junhai was jailed in 2006 for fraud and embezzlement, and has been accused by Yili of being behind a series of malicious rumours about the company since his release in 2012. Two journalists were arrested in 2018 for defamation of the company and CEO Pan. Yili Group is publicly quoted, but the Chinese state retains a controlling share. It launched in 1993 as a small dairy processor in Mongolia but expanded rapidly over the following decade. It was a key sponsor of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and will also sponsor the 2022 Winter Olympics. Adbrands does not currently profile this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

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Capsule checked 14th November 2018

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