PepsiCo has announced that it will invest $131 million to acquire a 26% stake in Natural Food International Holdings Limited, one of China’s largest natural health food companies.
Natural Food produces high-end nutritional powders based on cereals, and also sells ranges of nut and berry food products. It is the second largest natural food producer in China by retail sales, and PepsiCo claims that this investment will accelerate PepsiCo’s efforts to become a leading player in the Chinese market.
PepsiCo will acquire these shares from a minority of shareholders and will become the second-largest shareholder in the company after the founder of Natural Food, Natural Capital, which holds a 42% stake.
Natural Capital is among the shareholders selling part of its stake to PepsiCo, and will hold a 33.5% stake in Natural Food once the transaction has been completed.
PepsiCo Ke Ruinan, CEO of China, said: “We are deeply respectful of the achievements of the founder and management team of Natural Food, and we are very excited to work with them to promote the company’s better development, production and transportation of products. Create value with every aspect of sales and sales.
“The operation of Natural Food is outstanding, with strong growth and good profitability. Our investment is also an important measure under the long-term commitment of PepsiCo’s ‘rooting China and serving China’.”
Ms Gui Changqing, chairman of Natural Food added: “We are very grateful to PepsiCo for its continued interest and recognition, and for the valuable efforts of the teams to promote cooperation.
“We are once again deeply aware of PepsiCo’s outstanding achievements and leadership in the global food and beverage industry, and we are particularly excited about its determination to develop China’s natural health food market.
“The company has multi-channel and multi-dimensional strategic cooperation in the whole value chain including brand, product, channel, marketing and management, further develops and expands the market share and brand influence of Natural Food, thus opening up the company’s future growth in a vast market.”
This latest investment comes just under two weeks after PepsiCo agreed a $1.7 billion deal to acquire South Africa-based Pioneer Foods.
Pioneer Foods holds strong positions in cereals, juices, and other African nutritional food staples, and owns well-known brands like Weet-Bix, Liqui-Fruit, and Ceres.
By Martin White
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