BANGKOK (Reuters) - Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl (CPF), Thailand's largest agriculture conglomerate, said on Monday it would acquire Canadian pork producer HyLife Investments for C$498 million ($372.7 million) to expand its North American business.
The acquisition would make CPF a 50.1 percent owner of HyLife, with the remainder held by its Japanese partner, Itochu Corp, CPF said in a statement.
CPF said the investment would give it access to a pork production base and opportunity to expand in North America and premium markets such as Japan.
CPF, which has livestock, aquaculture, animal feed, and restaurants businesses across 17 countries, is owned by Thailand's richest man, Dhanin Chearavanont.
Dhanin's other businesses span convenience stores, insurance and telecommunications.
CPF's purchase of HyLife will improve its product portfolio of cooked pork products for the Chinese market and expand its presence in the United States. HyLife, which has processing plants in Canada and Mexico, has businesses including feed manufacturing, hog production and distribution of pork products.
CPF previously said that it expects up to 10 percent sales growth in 2019 and targets sales of over $18.2 billion over the next five years.
The purchase is the latest overseas acquisition for CPF, which bought U.S. frozen-food producer Bellisio Parent LLC for $1 billion in 2016.
($1 = 1.3362 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; editing by Christian Schmollinger)