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Business Deals

Japan's Itochu tosses stake in Chinese food giant

Trading house severs ties with Ting Hsin to focus on Citic alliance

TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Itochu has agreed to sell its entire stake in Ting Hsin International Group back to the Chinese food processor, ending a relationship that dates to 2009 in favor of a 3-year-old tie-up with state-owned financial group Citic.

Ting Hsin will acquire the full 17.8% share from Itochu for roughly 50 billion yen ($467 million). The two companies have collaborated in areas such as meats, drinks and logistics as well as operating convenience stores tied to Itochu group company FamilyMart Uny Holdings. These Chinese businesses are expected to remain in place after the asset sale.

Itochu will expand its mainland business operations through the Citic partnership. In 2015, the Japanese multinational invested 600 billion yen in Citic to forge a capital alliance that has extended to apparel, hospitals and other sectors. The trading house intends to bolster that partnership in e-commerce and other consumer areas.

Itochu also inked a deal worth roughly 70 billion yen to pick up Ting Hsin's 37.2% ownership stake in Taipei Financial Center Corp., the company that manages the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taiwan's capital.

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