Thailand's CP Group launches India operations with an eye on US deals

By Lester Wan

- Last updated on GMT

Siam Makro, CP Foods’ retail arm, plans to set up 15 distribution centres across northern India in the next three years. ©CP Foods
Siam Makro, CP Foods’ retail arm, plans to set up 15 distribution centres across northern India in the next three years. ©CP Foods

Related tags Charoen pokphand Investment

Thailand food conglomerates Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group is to open wholesale cash-and-carry stores in India as well as broker deals in the US.

Siam Makro, CP’s retail arm, plans to invest Rs1,000 crore in India over five years, and set up 15 distribution centres across the north of the country in the next three years, under LOTS Wholesale Solutions. The first two will open in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) in the second half of this year.

“We bring with us 28 years of experience in serving various business-to-business customers such as hotels, restaurants and catering (HoReCa), traders and service customers, through different cash-and-carry formats, large and small,” ​said Tanit Chearavanont, managing director, LOTS Wholesale Solutions.

We are confident that we will surely be able to enhance the modern wholesale sector in totality.”

The company has adopted a 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) route.

It said this development would generate about 5,000 jobs in the country.

Siam Makro currently has about 123 cash-and-carry stores in Thailand. The company had also recently launched the cash-and-carry business in China and Cambodia.

“India is an important market for us… LOTS Wholesale Solutions will invest in people, technology and supply chain infrastructure and looks forward to contributing to India’s economic growth,” India Retailing​ reported Siam Makro chief marketing officer Siriporn Dechsingha as having said.

“Our purpose inspires us to ‘Enhance People’s Lives’ by working closely with suppliers and farmers to produce environment-friendly products and to improve food safety supplies. One of the key pillars of Makro Capabilities Engine for sustainable mutual growth is ‘Local Love’ that empower us to source large majority of assortments locally.”

An eye on the US market, including frozen foods

The CP Group is also mulling several merger and acquisition deals, according to its US business chairman Boonchai Opas-iam-likit. He said this to reporters on the side-lines of an event to promote the launch of products from US frozen food maker Bellisio Foods, in Thailand.

CP Foods, the flagship arm of the CP Group, acquired Bellisio Foods in 2016. It was the Group’s first major investment in the US.

The Nikkei Asian Review​ reported that CP Foods aims to boost Bellisio Foods' exports to Asian markets, where consumers are increasingly consuming more Western food. The company has initiated this effort with the launch of four products in Thailand's 10,000-odd 7-Eleven stores.

"CP Group stands ready to support and promote trade and investment between the United States of America and Thailand," ​CP Group chief executive Suphachai Chearavanont reiterated at the event.

Q3 profits down but overseas sales up

Towards the end of last year, CP Foods reported a drop in third-quarter net profit but a hike in sales from its overseas operations.

The food and agribusiness company listed on the Bangkok stock exchange reported a net profit of 4.91b baht, down 5% year-on-year. Net profit for the year-to-date was 12.93b baht, flat on the same period of 2016.

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