BEIJING (AP) -- The Chinese dairy at the center of a deadly tainted milk scandal that sickened hundreds of thousands of children and was blamed for killing six was declared bankrupt Thursday, state media reported.
Sanlu Group Co. was declared bankrupt by a court in Shijiazhuang in China's Hebei province, state television and the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
They did not immediately give details.
One of the firm's owners, New Zealand's Fonterra Group, said in December that a bankruptcy order had been issued against Sanlu in response to a petition from a creditor. Fonterra, a New Zealand farmer-owned cooperative, owns 43 percent of Sanlu.
Melamine-tainted infant formula produced by Sanlu and products made by dozens of other mainland dairy companies have been blamed for the deaths of six babies and the illness of nearly 300,000 others.
The crisis highlighted a widespread practice among dairy suppliers who watered down the milk they bought from farmers and then added melamine to it to artificially boost its protein levels. The tainted milk was then sold to dairy companies.