COFCO Meat Brings in KKR, Baring Private Equity Asia, HOPU, and Boyu as Strategic Investors

Aiming to promote large-scale hog farms and safe meat production in China.

COFCO Meat, a leading integrated pork company with a focus on providing safe meat products to Chinese consumers, and a consortium of investors composed of KKR, Baring Private Equity Asia, HOPU, and Boyu, announced the formation of a strategic partnership. The consortium will invest in COFCO Meat alongside existing shareholders to build and manage large-scale industrialized hog farms and meat processing plants in China. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

COFCO Meat, a subsidiary of COFCO Group, is a modern industrialized and integrated food company engaged in hog and poultry production, processing, distribution, and meat imports and exports. Established less than five years ago, COFCO Meat is now one of the largest hog producers in China. The large-scale and integrated operations enable effective quality control to produce high-quality meat products to address increasing food safety issues in China. The company markets its fresh meat and processed meat products under the brands Joycome and Maverick.

According to the US Department of Agriculture and the China Animal Industry Yearbook, China accounts for more than 50% of global pork consumption, while large-scale farms with an annual output of 50,000 or more hogs contribute less than 1% of the total domestic supply. Large-scale farms are expected to increase more than six fold by 2020 given their food safety and quality control capability, as well as their greater operational efficiency compared with smaller farms.

Ning Gaoning, Chairman of COFCO Group, said: “Meat is the single-largest food category in China’s diet, and meeting this demand is a critical link and a natural extension of our company’s value chain. Chinese consumers demand of COFCO to promote the meat industry and provide safe meat products. Bringing in the four strategic investors is an action by for COFCO to diversify our equity ownership and enhance our corporate governance. We look forward to creating synergies among the shareholders to improve the operations and management of COFCO Meat, and together grow COFCO Meat into a much bigger actor in China’s meat industry. ”

Ma Jianping, Vice President of COFCO Group and Chairman of COFCO Meat, said: “This strategic partnership brings in four world-class investment funds to support COFCO Meat’s development. The investment is a recognition of our past achievement and future potential, and we believe these investors’ extensive global networks, professional local teams and deep operational experience will accelerate COFCO Meat’s strategic goal to become the leading provider of China’s safe meat products.”
“COFCO Meat is the right partner for the consortium with its strong commitment to food safety, leading market position and outstanding historical track record,” said Julian Wolhardt, Member of KKR. “We look forward to fully utilizing our global resources and local expertise to assist COFCO Meat in setting the bar for food safety in China. This new investment will increase the supply of high-quality meat products in China as the country witnesses an increasing demand for healthier food.”
Guy Cui, Managing Director of Baring Private Equity Asia, commented, “The investment in COFCO Meat is an excellent example of the consortium's ability to invest in a diversified-ownership structure and support an important policy imperative to provide consumers with better food quality and safety. We look forward to working with the management team at COFCO Meat and contributing to its future growth and development.”

Media Contacts:
Yu Xue
+86 10 85006598

Opal Ma -- New Alliance Consulting International
+86 21 3251 2730

Fanny Fang -- New Alliance Consulting International
+86 10 6580 9577

Anita Davis -- KKR (Asia)
+852 3602 7335

Kristi Huller -- KKR (New York)
+1 212 230 9722

Baring Private Equity Asia
Richard Barton, Newgate Communications
+852 3758-2686

Lan Qian
+86 (10) 5690 3766

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