Japanese snack maker Calbee has announced it has acquired local sweet potato business Potato Kaitsuka from J-GIA I Limited Partnership, which owned 70% of the firm, and other individual shareholders, in a deal worth JPY13.8bn (US$127.9m).

Based in the Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, Potato Kaitsuka was launched in 1967 as a wholesaler specialising in sweet potatoes. Known primarily for its Beni-Tenshi sweet potato brand, Kaitsuka sells raw materials for baked sweet potato products to the retail sector in addition to its own baked sweet potato lines.

Demand for sweet potatoes has been increasing in Japan with the introduction of baking potato machines in retail outlets, while exports to Greater China and South Asia have also been growing.

The deal is due to close on 1 April. Calbee, which owns the UK’s Seabrook Crisps, said the purchase will have no impact on its consolidated results for the year ending 31 March, 2020, but said it expected the acquisition “will contribute to improving the performance of Calbee Group over the medium to long term”.

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By GlobalData