Kerry Group PLC said it plans to invest 20 million euros ($26 million) in China, on the acquisition of Hangzhou Lanli Food Industry Co. in Hangzhou in the Zhejiang Province and the establishment of a multi-processing manufacturing facility and technical center.
Kerry said the move will significantly expand the group's asset and customer base in China to meet growing requirements for food ingredients and flavors in the country.
The acquisition of Lanli will be completed by the end of March, and the development of the manufacturing plant will commence mid-year, with all facilities to be fully commissioned by year-end 2006.
The company said its administrative, technical and logistics operations in China will transfer to the new facilities in Hangzhou.
"With changing consumer trends and nutrition requirements, particularly in major population centers of the vast Chinese market, this region will be a major focus for the group and its food manufacturing and foodservice customers in the decade ahead," chief executive Hugh Friel said.