Heinz completes Foodstar purchase

by Eric Schroeder
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PITTSBURGH — H.J. Heinz Co. on Nov. 4 completed its acquisition of Foodstar, a manufacturer of soy sauces and fermented bean curd in China, from Transpac Industrial Holdings Ltd., a private equity holding company, and various Transpac Funds. The purchase price includes a cash payment of $165 million and a potential earn-out payment in 2014 based on the performance of the business.

“The acquisition of Foodstar gives Heinz a solid growth platform in China’s rapidly expanding $2 billion plus retail soy sauce market,” said William R. Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of H.J. Heinz. “It also accelerates our growth in China, a key emerging market where Heinz is already well-positioned with our growing infant nutrition business and Long Fong, a leading brand of frozen dim sum.”

Mr. Johnson added Foodstar’s brands are well-positioned in southern China and are “a natural fit with Heinz’s core capabilities in sauces.”

“Our goal is to drive the growth of these popular brands by leveraging our company’s global scale and expertise in innovation, marketing, sales and distribution in China,” he said.

Heinz first announced the Foodstar agreement on June 21. The acquisition of Guangzhou-based Foodstar includes four manufacturing sites with 2,500 employees in China and a fifth manufacturing facility that is under construction in Shanghai. Heinz expects the acquisition to boost its annual sales in China to about $300 million in the first full year.

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