Added by Nigel Shelbourne on September 1, 2011
Bright Foods Company, a state-owned company of China, said on Monday that it is looking at Australia for growth on a global platform. The management of Bright Foods said Australia is not only a market for its wine, sugar and dairy products but has the potential to boost manufacturing these products to meet the growing demand from Asian markets too. Chairman Wang Zongnan stated at a meeting in Sydney on August 31, 2011 that Australia, being the largest global supplier of sugar outside Brazil, is full of opportunities for Bright Foods Company.
Zongnan said that Bright Foods has acquired 75% equity stake in Manassen Foods Australia with the intention of making Manassen Foods operational and ensuring it gains an entry into the Chinese market. This was the first step and is being managed on priority; the second step focuses on acquisitions across Australia.
The acquisition of 75% stake in Manassen Foods follows several bids by the Chinese company to acquire overseas holdings in food companies. China’s second-largest food company failed in its bid to buy 50% stake in Yoplait, French yogurt maker in March this year. Late in 2010 they failed to acquire stake in Britain’s United Biscuits (Holdings) Ltd and the US vitamin retailer GNC Holdings.
Zongnan was speaking at a meeting in Sydney on August 30 after the acquisitions of Manasen, saying the company plans to create a food group by buying controlling stake in multiple international companies.
Zongnan elaborated on the strategy the company is adopting. The management plans to identify mature brands that have abundant resources in the food industry, acquire the brand and take the products to the Chinese market, provided of course that there is a demand for the products there.
Bright Foods operates over 3,300 retail outlets across China and is China’s third-largest dairy company by sales.
Zongnan plans to raise funds through an IPO (initial public offering) of its sugar unit sometime towards the end of 2011. He is also working on closing a bond deal that will rise close to US $470 million.