CJ Group eyes Vietnamese food market
VietNamNet Bridge - The great potential of the Vietnamese food market has attracted the South Korean conglomerate the CJ Group.



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According to the Korea Times, the return of president Lee Jae-hyun after four years of absence has spurred CJ’s expansion overseas, with a plan to obtain revenue of 100 trillion won, or $89.7 billion, by 2020.

CJ is called the ‘brother of Samsung’ as it was once a branch of the electronics manufacturer. After the founder Lee Byung-chul passed away in 1987, Samsung group was split into four conglomerates, namely Samsung, Shinegae, CJ and Hansol.

In 1999, CJ established CJ Vina Agri, specializing in making feed for cattle, poultry and fishes in Long An province. The total investment capital CJ poured into agriculture projects in Vietnam has reached $200 million.

In 2011, CJ took over Envoy Media Partners (EMP), thus indirectly owning MegaStar which owns the cinema complex of the same name. However, only in 2014 did CJ become well known after renaming the MegaStar cinemas to CJ CGV, now a leading cinema chain in Vietnam with 40 cinema complexes in 12 cities and provinces.

The great potential of the Vietnamese food market has attracted the South Korean conglomerate the CJ Group.

CJ began developing food projects in 2007 when it opened the first Tous les Jours shop. It now has 30 shops throughout the country.

South Korea’s largest food conglomerate said it would invest 70 billion won ($63 million) in Vietnam to build a factory that makes dumplings and other processed food products. The new production complex would be located on a 66,000 square meter area in HCMC, and once operational, it would make 60,000 tons of frozen food every year.

The conglomerate has made a series of M&A deals to expand food market share. 

In early 2016, after a long negotiation period, CJ took over Ong Kim, a kimchi brand, and has been selling traditional South Korean food such as kimchi, BBQ sauce and seaweed.

When Vissan, a Vietnamese slaughterhouse and meat supplier, launched its IPO, CJ spent VND300 billion to buy more than a 4 percent stake of Vissan.

After failing to become the strategic shareholder of Vissan, CJ decided to join hands with Satra to expand the trade of food and fruits in Vietnam.

In its latest move, CJ has taken over Cau Tre Food JSC and renamed the company CJ Cau Tre. It has also acquired a 64.9 percent stake of Minh Dat Food.

According to StoxPlus, Vietnam’s food processing industry is worth $4 billion.


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Thanh Lich

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