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CP Foods thaws US with $1bn Bellisio takeover

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Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

03-Jan-2017

One financial expert called CP Foods the 'ideal partner' for Bellisio Foods
One financial expert called CP Foods the 'ideal partner' for Bellisio Foods

Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods) has flexed its financial muscles with a $1.075bn takeover of frozen specialist Bellisio Foods and a 33% stake in Poland’s SuperDrob.

CP Foods’ huge deal to take over Bellisio Foods marks its first acquisition of a US firm. The meat processor’s CEO, Adirek Sripratak, described the deal as a “breakthrough” for the Thai business, which called Bellisio one of the largest and fastest-growing frozen food companies in America.

The transaction, announced on 23 December, brings together one of America’s most dynamic frozen food firms with the might of Thailand’s dominant vertically-integrated meat business .

We are extremely excited about this partnership with CP Foods and the potential it has to drive a next phase of significant growth for Bellisio,” said Joel Conner, chairman and CEO of Bellisio, in a press statement “CP Foods is a company with whom we share the same values and commitment to quality and innovation.

‘A breakthrough’

Bellisio manufactures and distributes single-serve frozen entrées under a number of brands, such as Michelina’s, Atkins, Boston Market, Chili’s, EatWell and Eat! Bellisio also produces a range of private-label and foodservice items. In business for over 25 years, Minneapolis-based Bellisio Foods manufactures more than 400 frozen food items and CP Foods said the well-known brands would “enhance” its US operation.

This transaction represents a breakthrough for CP Foods into the world’s largest food market and is a significant milestone in our journey towards becoming the ‘kitchen of the world’,” said Sripratak.

Joel and his team have built Bellisio into a strong business with a number of respected brands – we are looking forward to working together to further grow and enhance Bellisio’s business. Through the partnership, we will gain access to the North American market, enabling us to create an enhanced offering for US consumers as well as generate greater value for shareholders.

CP Foods acquired all outstanding interest in Bellisio from US-based private equity firm Centre Partners. Bruce Pollack, managing partner at the investment firm, described CP Foods as the “ideal partner” for Bellisio.

Bellisio’s management team and wider workforce are expected to retain their jobs.

Our reporter in Poland is covering CP Foods’ swoop on Polish poultry exporter SuperDrob, where it has acquired a 33% stake for €49.5m ($51.5m). Details are expected in the coming days.

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