Actis, Jiashili hope tie-up will accelerate growth

Actis, Jiashili hope tie-up will accelerate growth

Investment firm Actis has taken a "significant minority stake" in Chinese biscuit group Jiashili Food Group.

Jiashili chairman Xianming Huang will remain the firm's largest shareholder. Huang purchased Jiashili in 2007 and, under his ownership, revenues have increased fourfold, Actis said.

According to Actis, the company is China's largest domestic biscuit maker, with the second-largest market share in the plain biscuit market.

The group operates three production bases in Guangdong, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces, with a total capacity of 130,000 tons. Jiashili's core products include plain biscuits, crackers, sandwich biscuits and wafer biscuits.

Andreas von Paleske, head of consumer at Actis, said the fund, which is focused on emerging markets, hopes to accelerate Jiashili's expansion in the growing Chinese snack food sector.

"We have identified significant growth potential for Jiashili, based upon leveraging the company's strong brand and product strength. We have great confidence in Mr Huang and the management team at Jiashili, who have driven the company forward over the past seven years," he said.

Huang added he was attracted to Actis because of its track record of Chinese investments and "expertise in the global consumer food sector". Huang added the move would see Jiashili move into its "next stage of growth".

Actis will take one board seat, which will be held by Max Lin, the deal lead and a director in Actis's China office. Further details of the transaction were not disclosed.

Last year, Actis acquired a 30% stake in Egypt-based snack food group Edita Food Industries.

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Actis invests in leading Chinese biscuit brand

(28 April 2014) Actis, the pan-emerging markets investor, today announced its investment in Jiashili Food Group ("Jiashili"), one of the largest Chinese biscuit brands, for a significant minority stake.

Jiashili has a 58 year heritage, with a firmly established reputation for quality and value. It is a market leader in the production of plain biscuits and crackers, and holds the second biggest share of the plain biscuit market in China. Actis is investing alongside Jiashili's current Chairman and owner, Mr. Huang, a well-known, businessman who has grown revenues fourfold since acquiring the business in 2007. Max Lin, the deal lead and a Director in Actis's China office will join the Jiashili board.

Actis has a strong track record of investing in the Chinese consumer sector. Since 2001, the firm has invested over $600m in consumer companies in China. This new investment epitomises Actis's proven thesis of backing quality management and businesses meeting the demands of the emerging market consumer.
Commenting on the investment, Max Lin said: "We are pleased to be making another investment in the Chinese consumer sector. Branded packaged food, especially snack food, is extremely popular and becoming more so, underpinned by growing disposable incomes and an increased focus on quality and food safety."

Andreas von Paleske, Head of Consumer at Actis added: "We have identified significant growth potential for Jiashili, based upon leveraging the company's strong brand and product strength. We have great confidence in Mr Huang and the management team at Jiashili, who have driven the company forward over the past seven years."

Mr Huang, Chairman of Jiashili said: "With its long track record of investing and working with Chinese companies and expertise in the global consumer food sector, we see Actis as the ideal partner. We look forward to working with the Actis team as we embark on our next stage of growth."

Original source: Actis