Dutch dairy co-operative, Friesland Compina, said it had entered an agreement to sell its 8.17 per cent stake in Canterbury's Synlait Milk to the alternative milk company a2 milk, for $47.9 million, or $3.275 a share.

The purchase price is at a 17.5c or 5.6 per cent premium to Synlait Milk' last traded price of $3.10 a share.

Friesland Campina, in a notice to the NZX, said it entered into an unconditional
agreement yesterday to transfer the shares to a2 Milk at the agreed price.

A2 Milk, which is listed on both sides the Tasman, has commercialised a range premium branded products that are free from the A1 protein, which is common in most commercially produced milk.

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The Dutch company took a stake in Synlait when it went public in 2013 buying shares at $2.20 each.

A2 managing director Geoff Babidge said the investment in Synlait would build on a2's existing commercial ties with the company.

"As Synlait's preferred customer, this investment demonstrates a2MC's commitment to supporting our major contractor and we see this as a long term holding," he said.