China food giant buys into Italian olive oil

China's state-owned Bright Food said it has agreed to buy a majority stake in Italian olive oil producer Salov as it seeks more targets overseas.

China food giant buys into Italian olive oil
Olive Oil photo:Shutterstock

The deal is the latest in a global expansion drive by the Chinese company, which already controls British cereal firm Weetabix.

Bright subsidiary Shanghai Yimin No.1 Foods (Group) Co. had reached an agreement with Salov's private owners, the Fontana family, to take a majority stake in the firm, parent Bright said in a statement on Tuesday. The exact size and price of the stake were not given.

The statement said the acquisition was part of the "internationalisation advance" of Bright.

Headquartered in Tuscany, Italy, Salov produces olive oil under the Sagra and Filippo Berio brands and sells to more than 60 countries, according to its website.

It claims to hold leading positions in the United States with a market share of 19 percent and Britain with 23 percent.

Bright will boost Salov's production and sales after the acquisition to help it grow outside its home market, the statement said.

Shanghai-based Bright Food has been aggressively searching for overseas assets in recent years to expand its global footprint.

The company in May signed an agreement with London-based private equity firm Apax Partners to buy a 56 percent stake in Israeli food maker Tnuva, in a deal that is still pending.

Bright also paid $1.94 billion in 2012 for a 60 percent stake in Weetabix and bought a 75 percent stake in Australia's Manassen Foods in 2011.

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