News in brief

Thai firm in £60m takeover of UK food business

The investment will bolster CPF's ambitious growth plans outside of Asia

Thailand-based Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) has agreed a deal to acquire UK-based Westbridge Food Group Limited for £60m.

The deal was struck between CPF’s subsidiary CPF Investment Limited and Westbridge Food Group Limited (WFGL) and expands the Thai company’s ability to export food to EU markets.

WFGL retains a number of export quota licences – a certificate needed to trade meat – for poultry and meat. And it was WFGL’s already-established export trade with European countries that attracted CPF to the business.

CPF chairman Adirek Sripratak said the EU and UK markets offered great potential for sales growth and the takeover would expand the company’s distribution network for retailers, foodservice and manufacturers.

Most of WFGL’s markets are new customer groups rather than CPF’s existing clients,” Sripratak said in a statement.

WFGL’s products mainly involve chicken, shrimp, fish and processed foods, which are in line with our product range. In addition, CPF will have an import quota licence for chicken products to the EU, as WFGL has more than 100 subsidiaries [all of] which have import quotas.

[WFGL’s] management team also has high experience in food business management. This investment will encourage CPF’s export opportunities in the UK and European countries.

CPF has already made a number of astute business deals in the last six months, after agreeing a preliminary deal to buy a 33% stake in Poland's SuperDrob, in addition to a $1bn takeover of US-based Bellisio Foods.

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