Heinz to acquire Chinese soy sauce maker

by Keith Nunes
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PITTSBURGH — The H.J. Heinz Co. has signed an agreement to acquire Foodstar, a maker of soy sauce and bean curd in China, from Transpac Industrial Holdings Ltd. for approximately $165 million and an “earn-out” potentially payable in 2014 based on the performance of the business. The completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval in China and other conditions.

“The acquisition of Foodstar gives Heinz a strong growth platform in China’s huge, rapidly growing soy sauce market,” said William R. Johnson, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Heinz. “Foodstar’s leading brands have strong equity with Chinese consumers and they are a natural fit with our core global capabilities in sauces and condiments. The acquisition is another important step in our strategy to accelerate growth in dynamic emerging markets like China, where Heinz is already well positioned with our growing infant nutrition business and Long Fong, a leading brand of frozen dim sum.”

Based in Guangzhou, Foodstar has four manufacturing facilities and 2,500 employees in China. The company makes the Master Weijixtan brand of light soy sauce and Guanghe fermented bean curd.

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