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Japan Tobacco completes tender offer for Katokichi in deal with Nissin

Japan Tobacco completes tender offer for Katokichi in deal with Nissin

Japan Tobacco said Thursday its tender offer for shares of scandal-ridden Katokichi was successful in a deal worth 102.14 billion yen (US$894.4 million; euro621.2 million) that will create Japan's biggest frozen food maker.
Through the tender offer, ended Wednesday, Japan Tobacco Inc.'s stake in Katokichi Co., a food makers that specializes in frozen buns, noodles and other kinds of food, will rise to 93.9 percent from 5.1 percent.
The buyout is part of an agreement, announced last month, between Japan Tobacco Inc. and Nissin Food Products Co. to merge their frozen food operations into Katokichi once the takeover was completed. JT will later later transfer a 49 percent stake in Katokichi to Nissin and hold the remaining 51 percent stake.
Japan Tobacco, the world's third-largest tobacco company by sales volume, is hoping to branch out into other sources of revenue _ such as food and pharmaceuticals _ as the number of smokers drops in Japan.
Japanese instant noodle maker Nissin has also been seeking to boost its strength in the increasingly cutthroat Japanese food industry. It bought Japan's fourth-biggest instant noodle maker Myojo Foods Co. last year.
Competition is intensifying in Japan's food industry because an aging population is shrinking the market and higher raw material costs are narrowing profit margins.
Earlier this year, Katokichi was hit with a scandal that centered around claiming trading among business partners without moving merchandise.
Earlier this year, JT purchased U.K. tobacco maker Gallaher Group PLC in a deal valued at 2.18 trillion yen (US$19 billion; euro13 billion) _ the biggest acquisition of a foreign firm by a Japanese company.
Acquisitions have been increasing recently in the Japanese food sector. Beer-maker Kirin Holdings Co. said earlier this year that it will acquire Australian dairy product and soft-drink maker National Foods Ltd. from San Miguel Corp. of the Philippines for 294 billion yen (US$2.6 billion; euro1.8 billion).


Updated : 2021-08-04 03:19 GMT+08:00