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Business

CP Foods buys German meat supplier to widen EU access

$13.6m deal gives the Thai group a bigger poultry import quota

CP Foods wants a bigger slice of the European meat market.

BANGKOK -- Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Foods has agreed to acquire German meat supplier Paulsen Food for 12 million euros ($13.6 million), aiming to raise its profile in a European poultry market that ranks as the world's third-largest. 

Paulsen has an annual quota to import 6,100 tons of poultry meat and related processed foods from Thailand into the European Union. The acquisition will allow CP Foods to use the entire quota for its own products.

CP Foods, controlled by billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, currently exports roughly 50,000 tons of poultry to the EU. The European bloc's total quota for Thai poultry comes to 270,000 tons.

In a stock exchange filing last week, the Thai group said it will obtain a "network and channels for food services and food manufacturers in Germany and the European Union which have a high potentiality."

Exports will center on chicken and duck -- the company's core products.

CPF Europe, a subsidiary in Belgium, will acquire 95% of Paulsen Food shares from Peter Paulsen Import-Export, a family-run meat trading company in Germany, within the fourth quarter of 2017.

Spreading its wings

While CP Foods is one of the largest poultry companies in Asia -- with an especially strong presence in Thailand and China -- it has been looking to further extend its reach in Europe.

Earlier, in April, CP Foods announced the acquisition of U.K. meat supplier Westbridge Food Group, whose import quota stood at 12,000 tons per year.

When it comes to poultry imports, the EU ranks behind only China (including Hong Kong) and Japan. The largest source is Brazil, which accounts for more than half the EU's imports, followed by Thailand.

CP Foods aims to generate 75% of its sales from international operations by 2020. In 2016, the ratio was around 68% -- a marginal increase from 66% a year earlier.

CP Foods shares closed at 24.9 baht on Monday, up 0.4% from last week's close.

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