CHINA: Wahaha eyeing global acquisitions

By Michelle Russell | 14 September 2012

Zong told Bloomberg Wahaha wanted to take its products to Europe and the US

Zong told Bloomberg Wahaha wanted to take its products to Europe and the US

Chinese food and beverage group Wahaha has said it will look at global acquisitions in a bid to expand overseas.

Kelly Zong, head of international business at Wahaha and daughter of owner Zong Qinghou, said the company is working with investment banks to identify food and beverage deals in Europe and Australia.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, Zong told Bloomberg Wahaha is interested in companies that can "help it source raw materials more efficiently and share distribution systems".

The company, which was last month rumoured to be the frontrunner in the bidding process for the snack unit of UK firm United Biscuits, is also eyeing the US as a potential market for entry.

Zong told Bloomberg the company wanted to take its products to Europe and the US.

"These countries are very regulated countries so we will have the best policy for [our] products ... so we won't be scared for food safety issues there." She added: "If I can bring a product to the US and Europe I can bring them all over the world."

Wahaha was a partner of Danone in China. In 2009, Danone sold its stake in Danone-Wahaha joint ventures to Chinese partners, following years of court battles across the globe. The joint venture deal had been signed in 1996.

Sectors: Dairy, Emerging markets, Mergers & acquisitions, Snacks

Companies: Danone, United Biscuits

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