Carlyle Group, has invested in GGC Group, the owner of Kyushu GGC Ltd., known for best-selling bean sprout brand “Meisui Bijin”, through a strategic business and capital alliance.
Equity for the transaction came from Carlyle Japan Partners III, L.P., an investment fund advised by Carlyle Japan L.L.C.
Kyushu GGC is noted as a market leader of the bean sprout market in western Japan, with its main brand – Meisui Bijin – claimed to be the best-selling bean sprout brand in Japan.
Carlyle will leverage its experience in the commodities sector to help GGC Group expand its presence in the fast-growing pre-cut vegetable market in Japan, as well as build a strong business operation in preparation for overseas expansion.
Kazuhiro Yamada, the managing director of Carlyle Japan, explained: “Bean sprouts are among the most popular items at supermarkets in Japan after milk and eggs, and have long been an essential ingredient in Japanese cuisine. With natural water resources and advanced production technologies and supply chain management, GGC Group is known for manufacturing safe and high-quality bean sprouts.”
Carlyle’s Japan buyout funds, which have made more than 20 investments in Japan, have a track record of supporting Japanese mid-cap companies’ overseas business expansion, enhancing their operational efficiency and strengthening their management infrastructure.
Yamada observed that the investment will enable GGC Group to strengthen its presence and drive expansion outside of Japan into overseas markets.
The current management members of GGC Group, led by president and representative director Katsukiyo Mizumoto, will continue to run the business. Mizumoto said, “Having established a strong market position in western Japan, we are looking to further grow and develop our pre-cut vegetable business in Japan and expand our footprint globally.”