Wed, Nov 08, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Uni-President has plan to purchase one-fifth Tait stake

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Uni-President Enterprises Corp (統一企業), the nation's largest food conglomerate, yesterday announced a plan to acquire a stake in Tait Marketing and Distribution Co (德記洋行) to strengthen marketing and logistic services, according to a press statement.

Uni-President said it would buy 19.5 percent of Tait -- a consumer-goods distributor that markets groceries, personal care products, beverages and alcohol -- from the open market.

"We've been in talks with Tait for a long time and will choose proper timing to absorb the shareholding. We do not set any timetable to conclude the transaction," Uni-President spokeswoman Selina Wu (吳旭慧) said.

Tait, which owns the famed Kaixi (開喜) brand of oolong tea, has developed an extensive distribution network among restaurants, hotels, entertainment establishments and street vendors.

It recently made a deal to distribute Don Simon wine, Spain's premium brand, in Taiwan.

In contrast, Uni-President, whose parent company Uni-President Group (統一集團) owns the 7-Eleven operator President Chain Store Corp (統一超商) and has a stake in Carrefour Taiwan, is strong in distributing products via more contemporary channels.

Kaixi oolong tea has recorded impressive annual sales of NT$6 billion (US$182.7 million) through traditional channels.

After the share purchase is concluded, Uni-President will sit on Tait's board and participate in its operations, Wu said.

Shares of Uni-President fell NT$0.35 to close at NT$30.10 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, while shares of Tait closed up NT$0.28 at NT$9.05.

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