Century Pacific buys out Thai Union stake in Chinese distribution network

Published on
December 27, 2016

Philippines-based Century Pacific Food has bought out Thai Union’s share in a joint venture supplying the Chinese market with canned seafood.

Century Pacific Group will pay Thai Union USD 2.56 million (EUR 2.45 million) for a group of companies that distribute Century Tuna in China, supporting the expansion of the company’s international branded segment, according to Deal Street Asia.

Century Pacific Vice President and General Manager Gregory Banzon said his company was looking at China as a promising future growth market for the company, with its canned food marketed increasing at an estimated rate of double-digit growth annually.

“We look forward to growing our product portfolio and expanding the distribution network in China,” Benzon said. “We are currently studying opportunities to enter adjacent categories to take advantage of this new market.”

The Nikkei Asian Review reported the sale was a strategic move for Thai Union, which hopes to grow the popularity of its own brands in China. Whitney Foard Small, global director of corporate communications for Thai Union, said Thai Union is particularly interested in growing the King Oscar brand, which it acquired in 2014.

"The sale will allow Thai Union to focus on new opportunities in the China market, including the launch of the King Oscar brand in the frozen and chilled salmon and shrimp segments," Small told the newspaper.

An analyst at Bualuang Securities told the Nikkei Asian Review that in order to successfully compete in China, Thai Union will have to complete at least one acquisition on the scale of USD 1 billion (EUR 957 million), or “quite a few midsize deals” of around USD 500 million (EUR 479 million).

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