China’s Bright Food makes biggest acquisition with Australian food player

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Bright Food acquires 75% stake in Manassen Foods
Bright Food acquires 75% stake in Manassen Foods

Related tags: Australia

Bright Food Group has finalised its A$530m acquisition of a 75% equity stake in Australia’s Manassen Foods and opened an office in Sydney, marking the biggest overseas procurement for the Chinese food giant since its establishment in 2006.

The partnership will see a push to establish a strong market presence for Manassen Foods in the Chinese market as well as increasing its overall domestic and export businesses.

Manassen Foods has a broad range of internationally recognised brands such as Laughing Cow Cheese, Carr’s Biscuits, Jelly Belly sweets and Ryvita and this acquisition will see these products among others brought to the Chinese market.

Bright Foods’ main activities are in the dairy, tea and rice sectors and almost exclusivel y in China.

Fully committed

Junjie Ge, deputy chairman of Bright Food, said in a statement: “Bright Food is fully committed to working in partnership with Australian growers, suppliers, customers and the shareholders and the management team of Manassen Foods.”

Ge said that the investment will provide export opportunities for Australian producers while expanding the global footprint of Bright Food.

“Our commitment to the Australian market is reinforced by our decision to have a permanent office in Sydney to represent Bright Food,”​ he added.

Geoff Erby, CEO of Manassen Foods, said that the transaction is valuable to the company in terms of accessing China and the Asian region.

Negotiations have been on-going since August and recently senior management at Manassen Foods was invited to visit China by Bright Food to investigate the needs of Chinese consumers.

Erby said the visit helped the company better understand the sophistication of Chinese consumers and the level of competitiveness in the market.

Strategic partnership

James Roy, senior analyst at China Market Research (CMR) told FoodNavigator-Asia Bright Food’s expansion was driven in part by a desire to deliver a greater range of brands to the growing Chinese middle classes, while opening international markets.

“It is possible the acquisition could lead to an international stronghold. Chinese companies are looking to go overseas and have partnerships with strong established brands that already have recognition,”​ he continued, noting growing Chinese scepticism for local brands

Related topics: Business, All Asia-Pacific

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