Extrawell Pharmaceutical Holdings has unveiled plans to acquire a 90 per cent stake in Austcow Enterprises, a mainland milk distributor, for $9 million. Executive director Ho Yu-ling said there was vast market potential in the mainland for imported milk. He said imported milk at present accounted for only 1 per cent of the mainland's consumption of eight million tonnes per year. Austcow is the exclusive agent for products manufactured by Australia Co-operative Foods (ACF). The company has an agreement with ACF to market its dairy products on the mainland under its own brand name 'Austcow'. Mr Ho said the acquisition would help Austcow extend its sales network beyond Guangdong and Fujian provinces to other coastal provinces in which Extrawell Pharmaceuticals has established a strong presence. 'We believe that the acquisition can create a synergy effect through capitalising on our strong presence in the eastern part of the country,' Mr Ho said. The average gross profit margin for 'Austcow' milk was about 30 per cent higher than that of the milk powder at present distributed by Extrawell, Mr Ho said. Once Austcow had successfully established its name on the mainland and gained a dominant market share, the company would consider transferring milk-processing technology and equipment from Australia to the mainland for vertical integration, Extrawell said. Extrawell Pharmaceutical is principally engaged in marketing and distributing imported pharmaceutical, health-care and nutritional products on the mainland.