CJ Buys Top U.S. Frozen Food Maker

Jay Yim, Nov. 16, 2018, 9:28 a.m.


CJ Cheiljedang on Thursday said that it will buy 99.9 percent or 6.03 million shares in American frozen food giant Schwan's for W2.08 billion (US$1=W1,130).

The company said in a statement it paid W1.5 billion earned from the sale of CJ HealthCare toward the acquisition and plans to conclude the process early next year.

With the acquisition, CJ will raise the number of its production bases from five to 22 and increase its number of outlets that carry Korean frozen food in the U.S. to 30,000 from the current 3,000.

The acquisition is the biggest for CJ since it took over Korea Express (now CJ Logistics) in 2011.

Since his return to management last year as he was amnestied in 2016 after years in prison for tax evasion and embezzlement, CJ chairman Lee Jay-hyun is expanding the company's presence in the global market through aggressive investment and M&As, with the goal of W100 trillion in sales by 2020. Its investment doubled from W1.5 trillion in 2015 to W3.2 trillion last year.

Founded in 1952, Schwan's is a Minnesota-based giant in frozen foods with 12,000 staff, 17 plants and 10 distribution centers. Along with Nestle, it dominates the global frozen food market with operating profit of W120 billion last year.

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