BEIJING (TheStreet) -- The city of Nanjing, China, is giving Herbalife
(HLF - Get Report) investors good reason to stay positive despite the company's ugly dispute with hedge fund manager and investor activist Bill Ackman.
The city government Tuesday announced a deal with Herbalife paving the way for the U.S. company to build "a leading, global scale production base" at the Nanjing Jiangning High-Tech Industrial Park.
Terms were not disclosed, and Herbalife did not make an announcement. But the government's Web site said the plant will be "heavily invested" and should open in late 2015.
Pershing Square's Herbalife Presentation: Live Blog
Bill Ackman Says He’s Spent $50 Million on Herbalife Battle
Netflix Just Exceeded A Big Milestone: 50 Million Members Worldwide
The industrial park is already home to Honeywell
and other western company factories
China is a fast-growing market for the global nutritional supplements supplier. Speaking to analysts recently, Herbalife officials said they now sell products in most of China's provinces and major cities. They've also used China to pilot a "preferred customer" program
that's attracted more 200,000 members and could go global.
Herbalife currently has two China plants: One in Suzhou, which is near Shanghai and less than three hours from Nanjing, and in the southern city of Changsha. The latter is near farming areas
and was called a "global raw materials" supplier for Herbalife by local government officials when company executives formally opened the plant in 2012.
Herbalife has been methodically building a China marketing network since 2005. It's also working with government health agencies on healthy lifestyle campaigns. For example, the company in July opened a public fitness education center
in Shanghai. And Herbalife keeps in touch with China's urban middle class via postings on Sina Weibo.
Check Out Our Best Services for Investors
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.
- Model portfolio
- Stocks trading below $10
- Intraday trade alerts