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Bankrupt Sanlu Group's brand fetches US$1.07m at auction

THE brand of Sanlu Group, the dairy company embroiled in China's tainted-milk scandal, was sold at an auction yesterday for 7.3 million yuan (US$1.07 million), court officials said.

An unidentified individual entrepreneur from south China won the bid at an auction in the Shijiazhuang Intermediate People's Court in the northern Hebei Province. No further information about the bidder was released.

The auction started at 7 million yuan and drew three bids from two bidders. The "Sanlu" brand was worth 14.9 billion yuan in 2006, according to the China Brand Asset Evaluation Center.

Sanlu Group, which was based in Shijiazhuang, capital city of Hebei Province, had been China's leading seller of milk powder for 15 years until the melamine adulteration scandal broke last September. The group's revenue hit 10 billion yuan in 2007.

The company's tainted baby milk powder was found to have caused the deaths of at least six children and sickened more than 300,000 others.

Beijing-based dairy producer Sanyuan bought the core assets of Sanlu, which went bankrupt in February, for 616.5 million yuan at auction on March 4.

Also yesterday, Sanlu sold 51 percent stakes in three dairy companies for 22.8 million yuan to unnamed purchasers. But it failed to sell 51 percent stakes in another two dairy firms and withdrew 12 patent techniques from auction.

The bankruptcy trustee is to announce plans to dispose of Sanlu's last remaining assets, including a 51-percent stake in a third dairy firm in Hebei's Baoding City.


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