Thai food gi­ant CPF buys Bel­li­sio for US$1.1bil­lion

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

THAI­LAND’S big­gest food com­pany, owned by the king­dom’s rich­est ty­coon, has agreed to buy US frozen-food gi­ant Bel­li­sio for nearly US$1.1 bil­lion.

Charoen Pokp­hand Foods (CPF) hailed the ac­qui­si­tion of the US firm, which has a slew of pop­u­lar frozen brands un­der its ban­ner, as its first “en­try into the world’s largest food mar­ket”.

The trans­ac­tion is ex­pected to be sealed within 180 days, CPF said.

The firm is part of Thai­land’s sprawl­ing CP Group, owned by bil­lion­aire Dhanin Chear­a­vanont, which has stakes in ev­ery­thing from chicken farms and con­ve­nience stores to tele­com com­pa­nies.

CPF hopes to use its new foothold in Amer­ica to “bring greater va­ri­ety of prod­ucts, par­tic­u­larly Asian food, to US con­sumers”, chief ex­ec­u­tive Adi­rek Sripratak said.

Bel­li­sio Foods pro­duces and dis­trib­utes frozen foods for well­known brands like Bos­ton Mar­ket and Chili’s.

Their new Thai own­ers be­gan busi­ness as a small store in Bangkok’s Chi­na­town in 1921.

CPF’s prod­ucts are now ubiq­ui­tous in Thai­land and Mr Dhanin has been on a spend­ing spree, buy­ing stakes in busi­nesses in Asia and be­yond as he di­ver­si­fies the com­pany’s port­fo­lio.

In Jan­uary last year CP Group teamed up with Ja­panese trad­ing house Itochu to in­vest $10 bil­lion in Chi­nese con­glom­er­ate Citic Group.

That deal was seen as a move to help smooth ac­cess into China’s highly reg­u­lated busi­ness sec­tor.

Mr Dhanin, who Forbes says is worth $8.9 bil­lion, hails from Bangkok’s rich and in­flu­en­tial Thai-Chi­nese com­mu­nity.

To­gether with his sib­lings he grew the fam­ily busi­ness into Thai­land’s big­gest agribusi­ness com­pany, which also makes an­i­mal feed and op­er­ates a range of farms.

Mr Dhanin said in a rare in­ter­view that CPF’s cheap chicken and shrimp ex­ports changed Ja­panese eat­ing habits, while claim­ing to be the first for­eign in­vestor in China as it creaked open the door to its econ­omy in 1978. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.