CITIC Capital buys cooking sauce maker Amoy Food from Japan’s Ajinomoto

Soy sauce in food prep. Photo: Caroline Attwood/Unsplash

Japanese food and beverage maker Ajinomoto has sold its stake in Hong Kong-based cooking sauce manufacture Amoy Food to Chinese investment firm CITIC Capital, it said in a statement on November 19.

Ajinomoto has entered into an agreement to transfer 100 per cent of its wholly-owned unit Amoy Food to CITIC Capital Asia Foods, a joint venture between CITIC Capital Japan and CITIC Capital China.

Based on the announcement, Ajinomoto will subscribe to 15 per cent shares of CITIC Capital Asian Foods to set up a JV. The rest of the JV will be owned by CITIC Capital China Partners III and CITIC Capital Japan Partners III.

The deal is expected to complete by the first quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approvals. Financial details were not disclosed.

The Japanese seasonings giant has been seeking out a buyer for Amoy to help the Hong Kong brand grow and create new business opportunities, it said. Ajinomoto acquired Amoy from Group Danone for $235 million in January 2006.

Established in 1908 and based in Hong Kong, Amoy is widely recognised for its cooking sauces and frozen foods business. It also has a presence in North America and Europe.

“Through the 15 per cent stake in CITIC Capital Asian Foods, Ajinomoto will work with CITIC Captial to explore new business opportunities in China,” said the Japanese conglomerate.

Founded in 2002, CITIC Capital manages assets worth $25 billion. Its core businesses include private equity, real estate, structured investment and finance, as well as asset management. It has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Tokyo and New York.

As of June 2018, about 45 per cent of its LPs are based in North America, 27 per cent in China and 22 per cent are from the Asia Pacific excluding China.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.