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5 firms purchase Sanlu's shares at auction

FIVE companies yesterday bought shares previously owned by the bankrupt Sanlu Group, a Chinese dairy firm at the center of last year's melamine contamination scandal.

The stakes were auctioned in Shijiazhuang, capital of northern Hebei Province, said sources with the Jiahai Auction Co.

The assets at the auction yesterday morning included Sanlu's shares in four Hebei-based companies and a Tianjin company - the Tianjin Sanlu Co in which Sanlu held 51 percent of the shares. Auction of the company's shares failed to win bids last month as the starting prices were too high.

According to an unnamed auctioneer with Jiahai, most of the buyers were shareholders of these enterprises. But he didn't give details of the buyers.

Two more auctions are expected to be held on Friday and next Tuesday, when more shares as well as trademarks and 12 patent rights are to be auctioned.

Four planned auctions of Sanlu's assets have been held - the last one being the April auction.

The Sanlu Group had been China's leading seller of milk powder for 15 years until the scandal broke in September.


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