Anzco now fully owned by Itoham

Anzco now fully owned by Itoham

Japan-based meat products supplier Itoham Yonekyu Holdings has acquired more shares in Anzco Foods and taken its stake in the New Zealand beef and lamb exporter to 100%.

Itoham Yonekyu, which had owned 65% of Anzco, has bought out the company's management - including founder and current chairman Sir Graeme Harrison - and Japanese seafood group Nippon Suisan Kaisha, which were minority investors in the business. The deal has been approved by the New Zealand government. Financial details were not disclosed.

In a statement, Anzco said it would be able to "capitalise on synergy benefits and efficiencies from the considerable experience and networks of Itoham Yonekyu and Mitsubishi Corporation". Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi is the largest shareholder in the listed Itoham Yonekyu with a 39% stake.

Anzco said the change in ownership will see Harrison, who had signalled his impending retirement in 2015, step down at the company's next annual general meeting in March.

The then Itoham Foods first teamed up with Anzco in 1989 when the two companies formed a 50/50 partnership that resulted in the establishment of local business Five Star Beef.

In 1995, Itoham Foods joined a management-led buyout of the then New Zealand Meat Producers' Board shareholding in Anzco and held a minority 48% until 2015 when it increased its position to 65%.

In 2016, Itoham Foods became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Itoham Yonekyu, which was was created as a vehicle for the merger of the business with fellow Japanese meat processor Yonekyu Corp.