Danish soft drink firm CO-RO aims to achieve 30% growth in China after buying majority stake in local distributing firm

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Søren Holm Jensen (right), CEO of CO-RO, on the signing ceremony with Andy Lee, founder of JKD.
Søren Holm Jensen (right), CEO of CO-RO, on the signing ceremony with Andy Lee, founder of JKD.

Related tags: Fruit juice, Soft drinks, acquisition

CO-RO, a Danish soft drink maker, has bought over the majority shares of Chinese distributing firm Golden Creation Trade (JKD).

It aims to generate a growth of 30% in China’s HoReCa sector via this acquisition next year.

At present, CO-RO is already operating in China via CO-RO FOOD (China).

The acquisition, which was officially sealed on Nov 15, was the first time that CO-RO had ever acquired an overseas firm.

CO-RO and JKD will integrate into one company next year.

The deal, which was disclosed to be a “large two-digit CNY million investment,”​ would strengthen CO-RO’s presence throughout the whole of China.

This is because CO-RO produces its trademark product Sunquick in the south and JKD, which holds brand distribution license for China’s leading fruit juice brand Huiyuan, has a “strong foothold in the northern part.”

The acquisition means that CO-RO will enjoy the exclusive rights to sell both Sunquick and Huiyuan in China’s HoReCa sector nationwide.

“CO-RO’s acquisition of JKD perfectly underpins our growth strategy in Asia. The Asian market is very important to us, as it represents approximately 25% of our total turnover. In addition, the Chinese market is our largest one in Asia and clearly essential because of the high growth rate,” ​Mr. Søren Holm Jensen, CEO of CO-RO said.

“CO-RO is very pleased with the acquisition of JKD; a strategic step which enables us to realise growth as part of our general expansion plan for Asia. It is a great opportunity for increasing our Asian footprint with China as spearhead.”

Aside from China, CO-RO also has key production plants and sells Sunquick products in Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Not only fruit juice

CO-RO can expect to benefit from JKD’s wide array of distribution licenses.

For instance, besides Huiyuan, JKD also distributes fruit and beverage items of other overseas brand, such as US’s Maxwell House coffee, Australia’s Frosty Boy ice-cream, and Austria’s Agrana fruit juice.

The global turnover of CO-RO is expected to reach RMB$2bn this year.

Other ventures

Other than China, CO-RO is looking to develop further in Sri Lanka, where a new factory will start production early next year.

It also entered Kenya last year by opening a factory.

Its biggest market last year was Saudi Arabia. To meet growing demands, it opened as new warehouse and a new head office in the country last year.

It also launched more than 20 new products last year, such as Suntop Apple in the Middle East and Sunquick juice drinks across South East Asia.

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