TOKYO — Ajinomoto Co. has reached an agreement with Mondelēz International, Deerfield, Ill., to acquire all interests in Ajinomoto General Foods, a maker of coffee, tea and cocoa beverage products. The two companies had been partners in the 50/50 joint venture and Ajinomoto will pay Mondelēz approximately $226 million to acquire full control of the business.
The transaction is expected to close in April.
Ajinomoto General Foods was established in 1973 as a joint venture between Ajinomoto and the General Foods Corp., which is now Mondelēz International. The business holds the leading share in the Japanese home-use coffee products market and has been expanding sales in the Japanese food service coffee segment, according to Ajinomoto. The company said it plans grow Ajinomoto General Foods by expanding into adjacent powdered markets.Mondelēz International said the divestment is part of its effort to focus its core product portfolio around snacks.