(Yicai Global) Dec. 20 -- China's largest private agribusiness firm New Hope Group Co. acquired Australia's Real Pet Food Co. on Nov. 30 in partnership with a group of other Asian investors, it announced today, as NetEase Finance reported.
The company did not disclose the deal's price, but a source said it is several billion yuan. Beijing's Hosen Capital, Singapore investment company Temasek, CIC International Co., GenBridge Capital, a private equity growth fund led by JD.Com Inc. [NASDAQ:JD] and other investors are New Hope's partners in the transaction.
Formed in 1994, Real Pet Food Company is Australia's biggest pet food firm, the second-largest in the Australian and New Zealand market, and the world's biggest refrigerated pet food maker.
The acquisition represents an important strategic positioning for the company, New Hope Chairman Liu Yonghao said. New Hope has closely followed the market opportunities brought by rising consumption in recent years, and found more and more young adults viewing their pets as their own family members. The firm has thus fostered more diverse and fashionable consumer demand that has cultivated tremendous potential in China's pet food market in the coming years," Liu observed.
After the deal closes, as the largest shareholder, New Hope will lead the partnership to make Real Pet Food the world's leading pet food firm and actively promote continuing innovation and the growth of the company's local business in Australasia, while using domestic and foreign industrial resources to further support its global business expansion and successful entry into the Chinese market, Liu pledged.
China's pet market has undergone rapid growth in the past five years, with retail sales of pet food up from CNY3 billion in 2012 to CNY7.4 billion last year, for a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent that is still on the rise, with last year's increase hitting 34 percent. The market may reach CNY33 billion by 2022 as ever more capital flows into the sector, analysts advised.