Sunner is the largest breeder, processor and supplier of chicken products in China, according to KKR, and supplies its fast food industry, food manufacturers and wholesale meat markets.
In a statement released on Tuesday (26 August), KKR said that chicken was the fastest-growing protein in China, but it only represented 17% of the country’s total meat consumption, compared to 40% in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Per capita consumption stands at around 10kg per year in China, compared to, say, 43kg in the US, with large-scale producers accounting for only 30% of domestic supplies.
"Large scale, integrated farming is the foundation to ensure food quality and safety standards are met," said KKR.
Fu Guangming, chairman of Sunner, said: "Chicken is the most efficient form of animal protein, and the market demand for high-quality chicken products is expected to remain strong.
"We are very excited to bring in a world-leading investment firm such as KKR as our long-term strategic investor, as we share the same commitment to provide the best quality and safest food products to Chinese consumers.
"We look forward to leveraging KKR’s global resources and operational expertise to further strengthen Sunner’s market leadership, and to meet the growing domestic demand for healthy chicken."
Julian Wolhardt, member of KKR, said: "Vertically integrated chicken farming is a key solution to the food safety threats facing China’s animal protein sector.
"Sunner has an excellent track record and has thoughtfully constructed its farms and processing facilities at strategic locations to ensure chicken quality and health."
David Liu, member of KKR and chief executive of the firm in Greater China, added: "Partnering with companies that meet China’s demand for increased food safety is one of our key focuses for China investments."