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Uni-President Eyes Full Ownership of South Korea’s Woongjin Foods

The Taiwan-based conglomerate proposes to acquire the remaining 20.68% stake, aiming for complete control of the Korean food producer
South Korea
u 1216.TW Blue Chip 150 Consumer 250
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Uni-President, a major player in the Asian food and beverage industry, is set to increase its stake in South Korea’s Woongjin Foods Co., Ltd. to 100%. The company’s subsidiary, Kaiyou Investment, has been authorized by the board to extend an equity acquisition offer to shareholders holding the remaining 20.68% of Woongjin Foods.

Woongjin Foods, established in 1976 and based in Seoul, specializes in producing and selling a wide range of products including juices, teas, red ginseng drinks, desserts, and more. Its distribution network spans convenience stores, supermarkets, and e-commerce platforms. In 2019, Uni-President Group made a significant move by acquiring a 79.32% stake in Woongjin Foods for over 7 billion yuan, thus becoming its majority owner.

The merger between Woongjin Foods and Uni-President Group has been fruitful, with revenues in 2019 reaching NT$5.843 billion and climbing to 300 billion won (approximately NT$7.4 billion). Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the company has maintained an annual growth rate of approximately 8.5%.

Woongjin Foods operates three factories and 10 production lines, producing around 250 different products. These include three beverage lines, a coffee line, a red ginseng line, four sweets lines, and a water production line. The company boasts a remarkable 97% market penetration in South Korea, with fruit juices, teas, red ginseng, and carbonated drinks as its major products.

Looking ahead, Woongjin Foods plans to invest significantly in infrastructure. This includes 320 million yuan for acquiring a drinking water plant in 2023 and 750 million yuan to build a 15,000 square meter logistics center, slated for completion in the first half of 2024. These investments are strategically aimed at bolstering the company’s position in the Asian market over the next decade.

With today’s announcement, Uni-President is on the cusp of acquiring full ownership of Woongjin Foods, marking a significant expansion of its influence in the food and beverage sector across Asia. This move highlights Uni-President’s commitment to strengthening its portfolio and deepening its market penetration in the region.

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