NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW
Thai conglomerate mulls several M&As including in non-food sector
YUKAKO ONO, Nikkei staff writer
U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Glyn Davies, left, CP Group Senior Chairman Dhanin Chearavanont, center, and his son and CP Group chief executive Suphachai Chearavanont chatting at the ambassador's residence in Bangkok on Jan. 18. (Photo by Yukako Ono)
BANGKOK -- Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Group, the agribusiness conglomerate led by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, is eyeing more trade and investment with the U.S. as it sees there is "good sentiment" for doing business in the country under the administration of President Donald Trump.
There are several merger and acquisition deals that are being considered, said CP Group's U.S. Business Chairman Boonchai Opas-iam-likit, including those in the non-food category. He was talking to reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of an event to promote the launch of products from U.S. frozen entree maker Bellisio Foods in Thailand, held at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Bangkok.
Charoen Pokphand Foods, the listed flagship arm of CP Group, acquired Bellisio Foods in 2016 for $1.075 billion. It was CP Group's first major investment in the U.S.
CP Foods aims to boost Bellisio's exports to Asian markets where consumers are increasingly eating more Western food. To start with, it rolled out four products at Thailand's 10,000 plus 7-Eleven stores.
"CP Group stands ready to support and promote trade and investment between the United States of America and Thailand," said CP Group Chief Executive Suphachai Chearavanont in his remarks at the event. Suphachai, the third son of Dhanin, took over from his father as group CEO a year ago. Repeating his father's words, Suphachai stressed that the group is committed to building a "lifetime partnership" with the U.S.
Dhanin, who is now senior chairman of the group, was also present at the event. In a conversation with Glyn Davies, the U.S. ambassador to Thailand, he suggested that CP could step up its partnership with the U.S. by bringing in more American food into Thailand and also working with U.S. companies with innovative technologies.
Davies responded by saying he was "impressed" with CP's acquisition of Bellisio and that it was a "win-win" for both Thailand and the U.S. to expand the distribution of American products. "CP has taken the 200-year relationship between the U.S. and Thailand one step further," he said.
While the U.S. had distanced itself from Thailand after the 2014 military coup, the relationship has rapidly been warming since Trump took office. After years of hardly any contact, many high-ranking government officials from Washington visited Bangkok last year including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Trump invited coup leader Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to the White House.
In September, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross visited Thailand and met with large local businesses including CP Group and discussed more investment in the U.S.
"We receive tremendous support from the Trump administration," CP's Boonchai told reporters. "The U.S. is a large market with tremendous spending power," he said. "Now with the good sentiment, increasing confidence of consumers and the tax reform ... CP views that it is good opportunity to increase trade and investment."
News provided by
Sep 12, 2016, 10:00 ET
NEW YORK, Sept. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP; www.meredith.com), the nation's leading media and marketing company serving over 102 million American women, including three out of four Millennial women, and Bellisio Foods, one of the nation's largest, most trusted and fastest growing frozen food companies, today introduced EatingWell™ frozen entrées. EatingWell frozen entrées are a delicious addition to the freezer aisle and feature ingredients selected specifically for those seeking great-tasting, better-for-you meal options.
The EatingWell line of frozen entrées includes eight flavorful meals such as Cherry Port Pork, Indian Inspired Chicken, Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese, and Korean Inspired Beef. The meals each start with one cup of vegetables; 13 or more grams of protein; chicken, beef or pork raised without antibiotics; and whole grains. Each meal is free of artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, MSG, and hydrogenated oils.
For more information about the entire line, visit http://frozenfresh.eatingwell.com/.
For Meredith Brand Licensing's first expansion into the retail consumable food category, Meredith and Bellisio collaborated with EatingWell experts on product development and ingredient selection, ensuring that all of the entrée recipes meet the better-for-you parameters of the EatingWell brand while delivering great taste and responsible ingredient sourcing.
Unique to the EatingWell line of frozen entrées is its first-of-its-kind Fresh-Seal™ packaging. The cut-away carton provides a clear view of the enclosed meal, which is hand-placed on a black plate and vacuum-sealed in a self-venting film to maintain freshness, reduce freezer burn, and improve shelf life.
"We have great faith in the growth potential of the EatingWell brand to expand from its strong media footprint into food products and beyond," says Elise Contarsy, Vice President of Meredith Brand Licensing. "It delivers a trusted name and an accessible, healthy point of view. We are thrilled to be partnering with such a reputable, high-quality company like Bellisio to bring such great-tasting food to consumers with easy and convenient frozen entrées."
"We are excited to officially launch EatingWell frozen entrées and to fill a long-existing void in the marketplace for delicious, authentic and convenient frozen food products that fit consumers' healthful lifestyles," says Jeff Tuttle, Senior Vice President of Innovation with Bellisio Foods. "We strongly believe consumers will respond favorably to our meal choices, our ingredient selection, and the EatingWell brand name, plus the degree of transparency we're bringing to market, from packaging to ingredients."
EatingWell frozen entrées are now available in more than 5,000 retail stores nationwide, including Associated Food Stores, Food Maxx, Fred Meyer, Fry's Stores, Giant Eagle, Jewel-Osco, King Soopers, Kroger Stores, Lucky Market, Lunds Byerlys, Meijer, Pick N Save, Quality Food Stores, Ralphs Fresh Fare, Ralphs Grocery, Save Mart, Schnucks, Smith's Food and Drug, Smith's Marketplace, SpartanNash, and Wegmans, and select Albertsons, Safeway Stores, and Walmart locations.
Launched in 1990, EatingWell is a leading source of science-based nutrition advice, inspiring articles about food, farms and cooking, and delicious, healthy recipes. EatingWell magazine is published six times a year by Meredith, with a rate base of 1 million and an audience of 6.2 million readers. The brand has diversified to multiple formats, including a content-rich website that reaches over 4 million unique visitors per month, social media platforms with more than 2.8 million followers, content and brand licensing, custom publishing, and consumer cookbooks. Its core mission is to make healthy eating a joyful way of life.
EatingWell is a seven-time winner of the coveted Bert Greene Award, the highest award in magazine journalism given by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP); has won 13 James Beard awards, with an additional 16 nominations; and was selected to the Advertising Age "A-List" in 2013.
Additional information may be found at www.eatingwell.com.
ABOUT MEREDITH CORPORATION
Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP;www.meredith.com) has been committed to service journalism for 115 years. Today, Meredith uses multiple distribution platforms – including broadcast television, print, digital, mobile and video – to provide consumers with content they desire and to deliver the messages of its advertising and marketing partners.
Meredith's National Media Group reaches more than 100 million unduplicated women every month, including nearly 75 percent of U.S. Millennial women. Meredith is the leader in creating and distributing content across platforms in key consumer interest areas such as food, home, parenting and health through well-known brands such as Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, SHAPE, Allrecipes and EatingWell.
Meredith also features robust brand licensing activities, including more than 3,000 SKUs of branded products at 4,000 Walmart stores across the U.S. Meredith Xcelerated Marketing is an award-winning, strategic and creative agency that provides fully integrated marketing solutions for many of the world's top brands, including Kraft, Lowe's, TGI Friday's and NBC Universal.
Meredith's Local Media Group includes 17 owned or operated television stations reaching 11 percent of U.S. households. Meredith's portfolio is concentrated in large, fast-growing markets, with seven stations in the nation's Top 25 – including Atlanta, Phoenix, St. Louis and Portland – and 13 in Top 50 markets. Meredith's stations produce over 660 hours of local news and entertainment content each week, and operate leading local digital destinations.
Meredith's balanced portfolio consistently generates substantial free cash flow, and the Company is committed to growing Total Shareholder Return through dividend payments, share repurchases and strategic business investments. Meredith's current annualized dividend of $1.98 per share yields approximately 4 percent. Meredith has paid a dividend for 69 straight years and increased it for 23 consecutive years.
ABOUT BELLISIO FOODS
Bellisio Foods, Inc. is one of the nation's largest and fastest growing frozen food companies with a rich 25-year history of providing quality, innovative food tailored to consumer tastes and lifestyles. Based in Minneapolis, Bellisio Foods produces more than 400 products spanning a wide variety of frozen food categories, including single and multi-serve entrees, snacks, side dishes and specialty sauces. Bellisio markets these products under its Michelina's and Eat! brands, as well as under licensed brands Boston Market, Chili's, EatingWell, and Atkins. The company also co-manufactures private label, retail and foodservice products. For more information, visit www.bellisiofoods.com.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/meredith-and-bellisio-foods-introduce-eatingwell-frozen-entrees-300325916.html
SOURCE Meredith Corporation
CP Foods Completes US$1.075 billion Acquisition of Bellisio
Marks first acquisition in the U.S. for Thailand’s leading integrated foods business
December 22, 2016 08:20 AM Eastern Standard Time
BANGKOK & MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (“CPF” or the “Company”) today announced the successful completion of the acquisition of Bellisio Foods Inc. (“Bellisio”) from Centre Partners Management LLC (“Centre Partners”). CPF has acquired all of the outstanding interests in Bellisio from Centre Partners for total consideration of USD 1,075 million.
“This transaction represents a breakthrough for CPF into the world’s largest food market and is a significant milestone in our journey towards becoming the ‘kitchen of the world’”
The transaction brings together one of America’s largest and fastest-growing frozen food companies with Thailand’s leading and most successful integrated foods business. Bellisio manufactures and distributes single-serve frozen entrees under the Michelina’s, Atkins, Boston Market, Chili’s, EatingWell, and Eat! brands, as well as co-manufactures private label and food service products. CPF is the leading agro-industrial and food conglomerate in the Asia-Pacific region with a strong focus on nutrition. The Company operates in both the livestock (swine, broilers, layers, and ducks) and aquaculture (shrimp and fish) businesses. The vertically integrated businesses incorporate the manufacturing of animal feed, animal breeding and animal farming; meat processing, the manufacturing of semi-cooked meat and fully-cooked meat; food products and ready meal products, as well as the meat and food retailer and restaurant businesses.
“We are extremely excited about this partnership with CPF and the potential it has to drive a next phase of significant growth for Bellisio,” said Joel Conner, chairman and CEO of Bellisio. “CPF is a company with whom we share the same values and commitment to quality and innovation.”
“This transaction represents a breakthrough for CPF into the world’s largest food market and is a significant milestone in our journey towards becoming the ‘kitchen of the world’,” said Adirek Sripratak, CEO of CPF. “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 U.S. consumers as well as generate greater value for shareholders.”
“We are gratified with the tremendous results that Bellisio achieved over the last five years behind the management team led by Joel Conner. We believe that CP Foods is an ideal partner for Bellisio as it enters its next phase of growth,” said Bruce Pollack, Managing Partner of Centre Partners.
The existing management team and wider employee base will remain in place following the shift in ownership, with Bellisio continuing to be strongly committed to its existing customers and suppliers as well as Minneapolis, where it will continue to be headquartered, and all regions where it has operations.
About CP Foods
Charoen Pokphand Foods is one of the leading producers, processors and exporters of meat in South-East Asia and one of the world’s leading manufacturer of animal feed. A member of the DJSI, the company manages a number of animal feed plants and produces feed for poultry, swine, shrimp, fish, as well as home pets (cats and dogs). Headquartered in Thailand, the Company also has business operations in Belgium, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. Tracing its roots to 1921 in Thailand, today CP Foods has investments and operations in 14 countries and sells its products in over 30 countries worldwide with annual turnover of US$14bn.
Bellisio Foods, Inc. is one of America’s largest and fastest growing frozen food companies with a rich 26-year history of providing quality, innovative food tailored to consumer tastes and lifestyles. Based in Minneapolis, Bellisio Foods produces more than 400 products spanning a wide variety of frozen food categories, including single and multi-serve entrees, snacks, side dishes, and specialty sauces. Bellisio markets these products under its Michelina’s and Eat! brands, as well as under licensed brands Boston Market, Chili’s, EatingWell, and Atkins. The company also co- manufactures private label, retail and foodservice products. For more information, visit www.bellisiofoods.com.
About Centre Partners
Founded in 1986, Centre Partners is a leading middle-market private equity firm focusing on the consumer and healthcare sectors, with offices in New York and Los Angeles. Centre has invested over $2 billion of equity capital in more than 75 transactions since its inception. Centre seeks to partner with founders and management teams to build exceptional businesses. Centre Partners provides management teams access to its unique resources, which includes an extended network of experienced and proven operating executives. Additional information is available at www.centrepartners.com.
For enquiries within Thailand:
Ms. Punninee Nanthapanich, +662-625-7385
For enquiries outside Thailand:
Mr. David Ashton, +852 60101163
Ms. Margot McManus, +1 612-501-2838
Mark Semer, 212-521-4800
Ross Lovern Kekst, 212-521-4800
New EAT! Frozen Entrées from Bellisio Foods Turn Mealtime into a
Delicious Flavor Adventure
MINNEAPOLIS—October 12, 2016— Bellisio Foods, one of the nation's largest, most trusted and fastest growing frozen food companies, is shaking up the freezer aisle—and mealtime—with the introduction of EAT! frozen entrées. EAT! frozen entrées combine global flavors and high-quality ingredients to create a welcome departure from the soul-stifling, tasteless meals typically found in a grocer’s frozen food section.
EAT! frozen entrées are available in three exciting flavor profiles. EAT! BimBap™ offers a taste of Asia, while EAT! Lavida embraces Latin American cuisine, and EAT! 2.0™ updates classic American flavors. The eight varieties include Chicken and Potato Curry, Korean Inspired Chicken, Orange Chicken, Mexican Style Mac & Cheese with Uncured Bacon, Tomatillo Chicken, Chicken Penne Primavera, Honey Balsamic Chicken, and Lemon Herb Chicken.
Made with real, authentic ingredients, most EAT! frozen entréesinclude one half cup of vegetables as packaged, 100 percent natural white meat chicken (minimally processed and with no artificial ingredients), and whole grains. All carry responsible nutritional values, including no more than 700 mg of sodium or 13 grams of fat, and they have no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Not only are EAT! frozen entrées made with real food, they’re made by real people who care about quality and taste and who are passionate about making mealtime a flavor adventure. As a result, EAT! frozen entrées offer a delicious departure from the ordinary.
“EAT! frozen entrées are ideal for those on-the-go individuals who want a convenient meal option but who crave an adventurous eating experience,” said Jeff Tuttle, senior vice president of Innovation with Bellisio Foods. “With Asian- and Latin American-inspired meals as well as new takes on American favorites, we believe EAT! frozen entrées offer the kind of interesting and bold flavors that have been missing from the freezer aisle and the dinner table.”
Affordably priced, EAT! frozen entrées are now available in more than 4,000 retail stores nationwide, including Albertson’s/Safeway Stores, Crest Foods, D&W, Dillon’s, Family Fare Market, Food City, FoodMaxx, Frey Meyers, Gordy’s Market, Hy-Vee, King Soopers, Kroger Stores, Lucky Market, Lunds & Byerlys, Martin’s Price Shopper, Quality Food Centers, Raley’s Ralphs Fresh Fare, Ralphs Grocery, Save Mart, Schnucks, Smith’s Food and Drug, Smith’s Marketplace, SpartanNash, Strack & Van Til, Ultra Foods, VG’s Grocery, Vons, and Woodman’s.
About Bellisio Foods
Bellisio Foods, Inc. is one of the nation's largest and fastest growing frozen food companies with a rich 25-year history of providing quality, innovative food tailored to consumer tastes and lifestyles. Based in Minneapolis, Bellisio Foods produces more than 400 products spanning a wide variety of frozen food categories, including single and multi-serve entrees, snacks, side dishes, and specialty sauces. Bellisio markets these products under its Michelina’s and Eat! brands, as well as under licensed brands Boston Market, Chili’s, EatingWell, and Atkins. The company also co-manufactures private label, retail and foodservice products. For more information, visit www.bellisiofoods.com.