‘Win-win’ ice cream: China’s Yili buys Thailand’s largest domestic player Chomthana

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

China state-owned dairy giant Yili Group has bought over Chomthana, the largest local ice cream company in Thailand. ©Pexels/Alisha Mishra
China state-owned dairy giant Yili Group has bought over Chomthana, the largest local ice cream company in Thailand. ©Pexels/Alisha Mishra

Related tags China Thailand Ice cream

China state-owned dairy giant Yili Group has bought over Chomthana, the largest local ice cream company in Thailand.

Although neither company revealed specific financial details in the official press release on the acquisition, an earlier investment statement by Yili mentioned plans to purchase 96.46% of Chomthana for an initial estimate of US$ 80.56mn.

Chomthana is the largest domestic ice cream and frozen foods enterprise in Thailand, with strong footholds both locally and in 13 other markets worldwide.

Yili CEO Zhang Jianqiu spoke positively of the acquisition, saying that: "In the process of promoting internationalisation, Yili always adheres to the concept of 'openness, cooperation and win-win', and devotes to the dream of 'making the world healthy'."

Chomthana President Soh Chee Yong also expressed optimism for the company’s future with Yili.

“Since its creation, Yili has […] been renowned worldwide for its continuous internationalisation and innovation. […] Yili products have won the trust of global consumers [and is] a truly concerted enterprise,"​ he said.

Yili’s revenue surpassed RMB68bn (US$9.9bbn) in 2017. It is also the only Chinese brand Brand Finance Top 10 Most Valuable Food Brands 2018 list, ranking third behind Nestle and Danone.

According to The Cattle Site,​ Yili liquid milk took a 37.6% market share (in the offline retail channels) as of August 2018.

Yili’s persistent global expansion

Yili has been on a relentless march to expand its business globally. Besides its purchase of Chomthana this year, it has also cooperated with Wageningen University to develop its European Innovation Centre and gotten its products listed on the market in Indonesia.

The company also released eleven Southeast Asia-targeted products in October this year under its Joyday ice cream brand.

“The launch of Joyday ice-cream products marks our entry into Southeast Asia and we look forward to providing quality products to new markets,”​ said Zhang at the product launch.

Innovation and global collaborations will clearly remain at the top of its list for the near future. Yili President Pan Gang said: “Enterprises should gather global energy, insist on continuous innovation, and use global high-quality resources to serve consumers better.”

Yili has also previously committed to plans of making its products available for two billion customers to enjoy by the year 2020.

More about Chomthana

Chomthana specialises in the manufacturing of ice cream products and frozen Chinese dimsum buns, as well as cold chain logistics.

One of its most well-known brands is its Cremo ice cream, which is available in 20 different flavours.

According to its website, Chomthana is the first Thai ice cream company in the country to be awarded use of the ‘Thailand Trust Mark’​, which is what they describe as a ‘world market quality symbol’​.

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