Creekstone Farms set to be acquired by Japans Marubeni

Creekstone Farms set to be acquired by Japan's Marubeni

Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corp. has struck a deal to acquire US beef supplier Creekstone Farms Premium Beef from an affiliate of private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners.

The acquisition will see Marubeni, which already owns US seafood processor Eastern Fish Company, enter the country's beef market. Among Marubeni's assets is also Rangers Valley, an Australia-based beef business. Neither Marubeni nor Sun Capital disclosed the terms of the deal.

Marubeni pointed to forecasts beef consumption will rise "as the quality of eating habits improve worldwide, especially in emerging countries".

It added: "With the acquisition of CSF, in addition to its existing subsidiary Rangers Valley, which engages in cattle feeding and beef distribution in Australia, Marubeni will secure its production base in the two largest beef-producing countries and establishes its organisation to meet the globally-growing need for high-quality beef."

The Sun Capital affiliate acquired Kansas-based Creekstone Farms in 2005. Sun Capital said under its ownership Creekstone Farms' line of "all-natural products" grew from less than 5% of production to roughly 22%. Creekstone Farms' international business has grown to be approximately 20% of total sales, it added.

Sun Capital principal Jordan Wadsworth claimed: "We followed a comprehensive strategy for improving Creekstone Farms. By bringing in a best-in-industry leadership team and expanding our product offerings in line with trends in consumer demand, we were able to improve Creekstone Farms' business fundamentals and turn a good company into a great one."

Marubeni's food assets also include broiler operations in Japan and China.