Bright Food reaches deal with Manassen Foods for 75% stake

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th August 2011

Chinese food group Bright Food has finally reached a deal with Manassen Foods to buy a 75% stake in the Australian food manufacturer from its current owners.
The remaining 25% shareholding in Manassen Foods will be retained by its current shareholders, including Roy Manassen, CHAMP Private Equity funds management, and members of the current senior management team.

Manassen Foods has the Margaret River label and acts as a distributor for a stable of brands that includes Carr’s, McVities, Ryvita, Bovril, Globus, Laughing Cow, Jelly Belly, Babybel, Sharwood’s, Castello Cheese and Lemnos Fetta.

Chairman Wang Zongnan of Bright Food, said his group is “fully committed to working in partnership with Australian growers, suppliers, customers and the local management team in a way that benefits all stakeholders in Manassen Foods”.

Mr Zongnan also said Bright Food is committed to long term investment in the Australian food sector. He expects to achieve “synergies through expanding Manassen Foods’ domestic and export businesses”, to provide Australian products and brands with direct access to the Chinese market, which is one of the fastest growing markets for packaged foods in the world.

Simultaneously, via Manassen Foods’ own distribution network, Bright Food intends to introduce its China-sourced portfolio of products and brands into the Australian market.

Mr Roy Manassen said, “This transaction represents a ‘step change’ for Manassen Foods as it brings value and real upside for us into China and the Asian region. Our backyard has just grown significantly and we have the opportunity to make a major contribution into the most exciting region on the planet. I am very pleased to be part of it.”

Bright Food senior executives are due to visit Australia later this month for an official signing ceremony.

This transaction is subject to regulatory approvals including the Australian Foreign Institute Review Board and Chinese regulatory bodies.

Other financial details of the agreement have not been fully disclosed.