Thai agro-industrial conglomerate Charoen Pokphand enters Sri Lanka
ECONOMYNEXT – Charoen Pokphand group, a Thailand based conglomerate with a global reach, has bought Norfolk Foods, a unit of Sri Lanka’s Expolanka group for 4 million US dollars with an eye to gaining a foothold in South Asia.
Expolanka said in a stock exchange filing that it sold a 50 percent of the company for 2.5 million dollars.
The Thai based agro-industrial giant Charon Pokphand Foods (CPF), a listed arm of the group said it is buying another 30 percent of Norfolk from Habeeb Mohamed Ziauddin and Hamzathul Zareeha Ziauddin. The firm also has a call option to buy the balance stake.
The purchase was made through CPF Investments, a Virgin Island company.
CPF said the purchase will allow it enter a growing food business in Sri Lanka and expand its production base for distributing food products in nearby countries.
Norfolk has a 400 tonnes a month capacity and a 21 percent share of ready to eat products, CPF said.
Charon Pokphand has operations in feed milling, poultry food processing, aquaculture and retail. The parent group has interests in telecoms, insurance and owns significant stakes in other large Asian businesses.
Unlike Thailand and many East Asian nations, which have competitive and advanced farming communities allowing large scale exports, Sri Lanka does not have a large food processing and export industry.
Sri Lanka has inward looking ‘self-sufficiency’ policies with high taxes on maize which is a vital ingredient for modern farming. (Colombo/July14/2016)