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ABF announces joint venture with Wilmar International


London and Singapore, 3 June 2019 – Associated British Foods plc (ABF: LN) and Yihai Kerry Arawana Holdings Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Wilmar International Limited (SGX: F34), have executed a binding term sheet setting out their intention to form a 50:50 joint venture in China for the manufacture, sale and distribution of yeast and bakery ingredients.

The joint venture will acquire existing Chinese yeast and bakery ingredients activities of AB Mauri, a division of ABF, and will leverage Yihai Kerry Arawana’s supply chain, extensive sales and distribution network and local market expertise in China. The joint venture will also build and operate a new yeast plant co-located with Wilmar’s food processing plant in the Taha industrial zone in Qiqihar City, China, significantly increasing capacity.

The joint venture will have cost competitive production and, combined with an established portfolio of products, will be well positioned to capture growth in both traditional Chinese bakery products and western-style baked products, consumer demand for which is expanding rapidly.

“This joint venture is a great opportunity to build on the foundation of our yeast and bakery ingredients business in China. The joint venture will leverage AB Mauri’s baking know-how and technology with Yihai Kerry Arawana’s extensive route to market, local management expertise and its complementary portfolio of products. We are looking forward to working with Yihai Kerry Arawana on the shared vision of building a successful bakery business together,” said AB Mauri’s Chief Executive Officer, Cathal Duffy.

Wilmar's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kuok Khoon Hong, added, “Besides enhancing the range of quality ingredients, this joint venture will enable us to leverage on AB Mauri’s baking know-how and technology to provide better service to the baking industry in China.”

The joint venture company will be headquartered in Shanghai, China.

Completion of the joint venture is subject to regulatory approvals.

Notes to editors:

About Associated British Foods
ABF is a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with sales of £15.6bn, 137,000 employees and operations in 50 countries across Europe, southern Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia. It aims to achieve strong, sustainable leadership positions in markets that offer potential for profitable growth, and deliver quality products and services that are central to people’s lives. The group operates in five business segments: Sugar, Agriculture, Retail, Grocery and Ingredients.

About AB Mauri
AB Mauri has a global presence in bakers’ yeast with significant market positions in the Americas, Europe and Asia. It is a technology leader in, and supplier of, ingredients such as bread improvers, dough conditioners and 2 bakery mixes. Its heritage spans 150 years and now has over 7,000 employees working across 52 plants, operations in 32 countries and sales in over 100 countries. It supports and enables the world’s bakers, both small and large, across craft/artisan and industrial.

AB Mauri’s individual country businesses are dedicated to their local markets, both in terms of opportunity and demand and are backed with global expertise in bakery products, technologies and know-how. AB Mauri China has been serving the local market over the past 30 years with both traditional Chinese and western-style bakery products, including yeast, bakery ingredients, and margarines & fats.

About Wilmar International Limited
Wilmar International Limited, founded in 1991 and headquartered in Singapore, is today Asia’s leading agribusiness group. Wilmar is ranked amongst the largest listed companies by market capitalisation on the Singapore Exchange.

Wilmar’s business activities include oil palm cultivation, oilseed crushing, edible oils refining, sugar milling and refining, manufacturing of consumer products, specialty fats, oleochemicals, biodiesel and fertilisers as well as flour and rice milling. At the core of Wilmar’s strategy is an integrated agribusiness model that encompasses the entire value chain of the agricultural commodity business, from cultivation, processing, merchandising to manufacturing of a wide range of agricultural products. It has over 500 manufacturing plants and an extensive distribution network covering China, India, Indonesia and some 50 other countries and regions. The Group has a multinational workforce of about 90,000 people.

Wilmar’s portfolio of high quality processed agricultural products is the preferred choice of consumers and the food manufacturing industry. Its consumer-packed products have a leading share in many Asian and African countries. Through scale, integration and the logistical advantages of its business model, Wilmar is able to extract margins at every step of the value chain, thereby reaping operational synergies and cost efficiencies. Wilmar is a firm advocate of sustainable growth and is committed to its role as a responsible corporate citizen.


For further information please contact:

Associated British Foods
Until 12.00

Catherine Hicks, Group Corporate Affairs Director
Tel: +44 7974 982411
After 12.00
John Bason, Finance Director
Tel: +44 20 7638 9571

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Chris Barrie, Jos Bieneman
Tel: +44 7834 336 650

Wilmar International Limited
Lim Li Chuen
Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Tel: +65 6507 0592