Del Monte Foods Pacific has significantly increased its presence in the Chinese market by upping its stake in Chinese holding company Great Lakes (Tianjin) Fresh Foods and Juice Company and Great Lakes (Qinhuangdao) Fresh Foods and Juice Company, the company revealed in a statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Del Monte Pacific said that it purchased an 11% stake in Abpak Company, the parent company of Great Lakes, from Great Lakes president Paul Leo Rasch for US$1.3m.

In July 2004, Del Monte Pacific purchased 89% of Abpak for a total of $6.3m. Del Monte's latest acquisition means that Abpak and Great Lakes are now wholly owned subsidiaries.

"The company has made an offer to acquire from Paul Leo Rasch, the remaining 11% stake in Abpak for an aggregate consideration of $1.3m. The offer has been accepted by Paul Leo Rasch. This acquisition will be financed entirely by DMPL's internal cash reserves," Del Monte Pacific said.

Rasch will continue as president of Great Lakes.

Del Monte Pacific's director Joselito Campos Jr commented: "We are committed to our investment in China and are confident that it will contribute to the group's profitability in the medium term."