Focus on Bright prospects in Australia

Date:2011-08-30     Source:dongyuyulixiang  Text Size:

BRIGHT Food Group Co will focus its international expansion in Australia where China's second-largest food company is said to have spent about A$400 million (US$425 million) this month to gain grocery brands.

"Recently quite a few Australian businesses came to us on their own to talk about potential cooperation," Vice President Ge Junjie said yesterday in Sydney at a ceremony for the acquisition of Manassen Foods. "Australia is the area where we are going to focus more."

The Manassen deal, which includes Australian distribution of McVities biscuits and Sharwood's curry, follows failed acquisition attempts in Europe and Australia. Bright has said it may buy overseas assets in sugar, wine and the manufacturing and distribution of food as it aims to increase sales from outside China to as much as 30 percent of revenue in five years.

Ge yesterday didn't name any companies or assets as targets.

Bright agreed to buy 75 percent of Manassen on August 17, without stating how much it would pay. On August 15 two people familiar with the matter said Bright will pay about A$400 million to buy the stake from Champ Private Equity.

Funds advised by Champ and members of Manassen's senior management team will own the rest of Manassen Foods, which has brands including Albatros bread and Harringtons chocolates.

"We are going to use the Manassen partnership as a very, very important platform for both Australia's market and China's market," said Ge, who is also chairman of Bright's Shanghai Sugar Cigarette and Wine (Group) Co unit.

Bright lost out to General Mills Inc for a stake in French yogurt maker Yoplait earlier this year and was outbid by Wilmar International Ltd for CSR Ltd's sugar unit, Australia's largest producer, in 2010.


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