Mitsui to Increase its stake in Synlait to 22.5%

Aug. 28, 2008

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Mitsui & Co., Ltd ("Mitsui", headquartered in Tokyo, Japan) and Synlait Limited ("Synlait", headquartered in Rakaia, Canterbury, New Zealand) have announced Mitsui has increased its stake in Synlait from 14% to 22.5% by converting a part of its debt to equity.

On August 11, Mitsui exercised its option to convert a NZ$11.8m debt to equity and acquired the additional 8.5% stake in Synlait.

Synlait's new milk powder plant south of Dunsandel started production early August. It is planned to manufacture some 30,000 metric tons of dairy products, mostly whole milk powder, for export primarily to Asia and Middle East countries. Mitsui as export agent of Synlait will provide logistics services from the plant to the final destinations in the international market.

Over the past decade global demand for dairy products has been rising by 4% per annum and supply has increased by only 2% resulting in unprecedented high commodity prices since early 2007 till today.

In the last twelve-month period, Synlait's farmland increased to 5,700 ha and cow number to 15,000 cows. Mitsui and Synlait will continue to work together to establish a sustainable supply chain of high quality dairy products of New Zealand through this "cow to customer" vertical integration.

This press release includes forward-looking statements about Mitsui. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of Mitsui in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest annual report on Form 20-F, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
This press release is published in order to publicly announce specific facts stated above, and does not constitute a solicitation of investments or any similar act inside or outside of Japan, regarding the shares, bonds or other securities issued by us.


For inquiries on this matter, please contact

Synlait Limited
John Penno, CEO
Telephone: +64-3-373-3002
Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Division
Telephone: +81-3-3285-7566
Facsimile: +81-3-3285-9819