Tue, May 02, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Uni-President aims to be No. 1 in Asia

AFP , TAIPEI

Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業) aims to become the largest food and beverage group in Asia outside of Japan within three years through acquisitions in China and India, the Financial Times reported on its Web site yesterday.

Uni-President, the nation's largest food conglomerate, is seeking to acquire companies in India and evaluating more targets in China, the report cited company executive vice president Alex Lo (羅智先) as saying in an interview.

"We hope to become a US$5 billion company before 2008, and so far it looks as if we are in line with this target," Lo said.

Uni-President would push into Indian markets, he said, adding this would make the company the only food maker in Asia with a comprehensive footprint in every important market in the region.

Apart from China, it also has business interests in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The company would "definitely seek to acquire an existing company" in India, Lo said.

He added that Southeast Asia was expected to follow China in delivering double-digit growth rates for Uni-President.

He said since the group specializes in both food manufacturing and retailing, targets could be in either segment.

"We don't really care which will go first," he added.

Uni-President Enterprises has invested about US$350 million in China since 1992.

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