SYDNEY - China's Bright Food (Group) Co Ltd signed a strategic partnership agreement with Food Holdings Pty Ltd (Manassen Foods) on Monday, under which Bright Food will acquire a 75 percent equity stake in Manassen Foods at an implied Enterprise Value of A$530 million ($554 million).
Under the agreement, the remaining 25 percent shareholding in Manassen Foods will be retained by its current shareholders, including Roy Manassen, funds advised by CHAMP Private Equity and members of the current senior management team.
Bright Food said that this historic cooperation would provide major export benefits for Australian producers while expanding the international footprint of Bright Food which is based in Shanghai, China.
The chairman of Bright Food, Wang Zongnan said Bright Food was very excited about entering into such an important partnership with one of Australia's largest and most successful food companies.
"We are very pleased to be in Sydney to sign this historic agreement- the first and the biggest investment in Australia by Bright Food," he said.
"As one of the largest food companies in the world, Bright Food is fully committed to working in partnership with Australian growers, suppliers, customers and the shareholders and the management team of Manassen Foods in a way that benefits all stakeholders in Manassen Foods."
"Through this cooperation, Bright Food and Manassen Foods expect to achieve synergies through expanding Manassen Foods' domestic and export businesses. Simultaneously, via Manassen Foods ' distribution network in Australia, Bright Food will have the opportunity to introduce its portfolio of high-quality products and brands into the Australian market."
Wang also said "Australia and China have a long-standing economic relationship and the cooperation between the two countries is obviously strong."
This stake acquisition marks a significant step forward for Bright Food to fulfill its dream to be an international player, Wang told Xinhua. He said Bright Food is confident that a perfect marriage between the two will contribute to a mutually-beneficial partnership.
"Bright Food is committed to long term investments in the Australian food sector. I believe the two countries will continue to grow in a way that is mutually beneficial for both our countries and our companies."
Manassen welcomed the strategic partnership with Bright Food and said the investment by Bright Food will bring significant strategic benefits and opportunities to Manassen Foods and many of its longstanding business partners around the world.
"This partnership marks the next and an important growth phase of Manassen Foods. It is a great opportunity for us to access the exciting Asian market and I am very pleased to be part of it," Manassen said.
This transaction has received Australian FIRB approval and is subject to customary completion conditions and Chinese regulatory approvals.