Cargill to selling China poultry businessCargill to selling China poultry business
DCP Capital purchasing Cargill Protein China for an undisclosed amount.
May 31, 2023
By Hallie Gu and Dong Cao
Cargill Inc. is selling its poultry farming and processing business in China, the world’s biggest meat market, to a private equity firm as weak demand and high costs continue to pressure industry profit margins. The top agricultural commodities trader has agreed to sell its Cargill Protein China operations to DCP Capital, a company spokesperson said, without specifying the value of the deal. This includes all Protein China entities in Chuzhou in Anhui province, including farm locations and manufacturing sites. The deal is expected to close in 2023, subject to regulatory approval.
Poultry farming in China is struggling to make a profit with consumer demand weaker than expected as the country recovers from COVID and animal feed costs staying elevated. Broiler chicken farmers still can’t make any money by raising birds, according to the latest government data.
DCP Capital, led by former partners of KKR & Co., has invested in companies including China Mengniu Dairy Co. and COFCO Joycome Foods Ltd., according to its website. David Liu, DCP’s executive chairman, was involved in KKR’s $400 million investment in chicken meat producer Fujian Sunner Development Co. in 2015 when he was chief executive officer for China at the global buyout firm.
Cargill’s plants in Anhui have an annual output of nearly 65 million broiler chickens and also include feed production, hatching, breeding and processing facilities. They were built in 2011 to satisfy rising consumer demand “for safe and high quality protein products,” according to the company’s website.
The company also launched plant-based meat products under the brand PlantEver in 2020, made by its operations in Anhui.
Cargill, owned by descendants of the founding Cargill and MacMillan families, is America’s largest private company. It’s the C in the so-called ABCDs, a group of four merchants that have dominated the world of crop trading. The others are Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Bunge Ltd. and Louis Dreyfus Co.
--With assistance from Alfred Cang.
© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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