Danish fruit-drinks maker CO-RO buys majority stake in Chinese JKD

CHINA – Co-Ro Food, a leading manufacturer of fruit-based non-carbonated soft drinks based in Denmark has acquired the majority shareholding in Golden Creation Trade Co. Limited, trading as JKD for an undisclosed sum.

The company said the acquisition reinforces its market position in China and is expected to generate a 30% growth rate in 2019 for CO-RO in China in the HoReCa sector (hotels, restaurants and catering).

CO-RO JKD will have Huiyuan distributor as the distribution partner for the company.

Huiyuan holds brand distribution licenses for a range of products in catering, including a license to sell juice products under the brand Huiyuan; China’s leading juice brand.

Co-Ro owns the Sunquick brand, the largest international brand in the HoReCa sector in China and has exclusive rights to sell both Sunquick and Huiyuan in the HoReCa sector, and the acquisition seeks to achieve growth for both brands.

“Co-Ro’s acquisition of JKD perfectly underpins our growth strategy in Asia. The Asian market is very important to us, as it represents approximately 25% of our total turnover.

In addition, the Chinese market is our largest one in Asia and clearly essential because of the high growth rate,” said Mr. Søren Holm Jensen, CEO of CO-RO.

“CO-RO is very pleased with the acquisition of JKD; a strategic step which enables us to realise growth as part of our general expansion plan for Asia.

It is a great opportunity for increasing our Asian footprint with China as spearhead.”

The acquisition not only helps CoRo to tap into the wide distribution network of JKD but also doubles the point of sales in the catering channel.

During 2019, CO-RO and JKD will become integrated as one to allow for significant synergies while boosting strategic cooperation with Huiyuan.

Diversification and expansion

The deal builds on CoRo’s presence in China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, where the trademark Sunquick enjoys a position as brand leader.

Having acquired JKD, CO-RO is now the only player on the Chinese market with a national distribution net of concentrated juice to the HoReCa sector.

CORO is looking to expand around the globe rather than Asia, in Sri Lanka where a new factory will start production early next year.

Last year, the company entered Kenya through a joint venture with the Kenyan edible oils manufacturer, Bidco Africa to form Bidcoro Africa Limited.

To meet growing demands, it opened as new warehouse and a new head office in the country last year.

It also launched more than 20 new products last year, such as Suntop Apple in the Middle East and Sunquick juice drinks across South East Asia.

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