Japan's Itochu is eyeing a stronger foothold in China after agreeing to take a 33% stake in Canadian pork processing group HyLife.

Itochu said late last week it has acquired a 33.4% stake in Manitoba-based HyLife for JPY5bn (US$56m). HyLife is one of Canada's leading pork producers, processing 1.4m pigs annually. It also has genetics labs.

The Canadian group already supplies speciality pork products to Japan, but Itochu said it is particularly keen to use its existing distribution network to supply more HyLife meat in China.

Itochu added that it will work with its "sigifnicant partner", Longda Foodstuff Group, to expand HyLife's presence in China.

In a separate deal, Itochu is already awaing clearance from China's Ministry of Commerce to acquire Dole Food Co's Asian fresh and global packaged food businesses.

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ITOCHU Announces Investment in Pork Production Business in Canada

January 8, 2013

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has acquired a 33.4% stake (5 billion Japanese Yen scale) in HyLife Group Holdings Ltd. (headquartered in La Broquerie, Manitoba, Canada; Don Janzen, President & Chairman; hereinafter referred to as “HyLife”), one of Canada’s leading pork producers.

HyLife conducts an integrated production (from genetics, live production, feed mill to pork processing), primarily in Manitoba. Taking advantage of its integrated production system, HyLife supplies safe, secure pork to markets around the world.
HyLife also supplies value-added specialty pork to the Japanese market meeting customer requirement by differentiated feeding.

Through developing various kinds of food-related businesses around the world, ITOCHU and its group companies are aiming to achieve the leading position in the international food industry. Based on customer needs, the companies organically link the processes from the development of food resources, the supply of raw materials, production and processing and intermediate distribution through to retailing, advance and develop the global Strategic Integrated System (SIS) strategy, which promotes efficient production, distribution and marketing, and improve the management functions for food safety and security.

This investment is concluded upon understanding that HyLife expansion strategy most prioritizes markets of Japan and Asia which Itochu SIS could mutually help. The sales of HyLife’s safe, secure pork will be increased with ITOCHU’s marketing network in the Asian market with a focus on China, where consumption continues to grow, as well as in the Japanese market.
Moreover, in the Chinese market, ITOCHU will expand the business with Longda Foodstuff Group, a significant partner of ITOCHU, through technical exchanges in the field of pig production.

Overview of HyLife Group Holdings Ltd.

Name of company

HyLife Group Holdings Ltd.

Headquarters

La Broquerie, Manitoba, Canada

Established

1994

Business
Genetics, Pig production and processing, marketing and export of pork, primarily in Canada
URL
http://www.hylife.com/[Open in a new window]

Original source: http://www.itochu.co.jp/en/news/2013/130108.html