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Business deals

China's Yili scoops up Thailand's top ice cream maker

$80m Chomthana deal serves as gateway to promising Southeast Asian market

Yili Group is expanding its ice cream business outside China as health-conscious consumers at home turn away.   © Reuters

DALIAN, China -- Chinese dairy producer Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group is spending $80 million to purchase nearly all of Chomthana, Thailand's leading ice cream maker, expanding into Southeast Asia in a bid to offset a stagnant home market.

The two sides have agreed to a 96.46% buyout by Yili through a Hong Kong-based subsidiary. "As the economy continues to globalize, we wish to further step up our overseas expansion," Yili CEO Zhang Jianqiu said at a signing ceremony in Bangkok.

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