ITOCHU Announces Maruha Nichiro Foods' Investments in Yayoi Foods

April 23, 2012

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has concluded a share transfer agreement with Maruha Nichiro Foods, Inc. (headquartered in Koto-ku, Tokyo; Michiro Sakai, President; hereinafter “MN Foods”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Maruha Nichiro Holdings, Inc. (headquartered in Koto-ku, Tokyo; Toshio Kushiro, President; hereinafter “MN Holdings”), for the transfer of 63.2% issued shares of Yayoi Foods Co., Ltd. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Teruo Fujishima, President & CEO; hereinafter “Yayoi Foods”), a consolidated subsidiary of ITOCHU, to MN Foods. The transfer is expected to take place at the end of June 2012.

Yayoi Foods, the core business company of the ITOCHU’s business-use frozen foods business, has been providing safe, reliable, and tasty frozen foods to customers in Japan nationwide since 1956. Yayoi Foods possesses particularly outstanding competitiveness in such products as croquettes, deep fried minced meat, hamburg steaks, and fish products, and has a strong brand and know-how in the industry. When its Kesennuma plant was severely damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, all Yayoi Foods employees were united in their determination to restore its operations. As a result, with extensive support from business partners, Yayoi Foods managed to quickly restore its production foundation by promptly establishing the Kyushu No. 2 plant and the Kesennuma Matsukawa plant.

With MN Foods, which has strengths in the commercial frozen foods business, taking a stake in Yayoi Foods, which excels in the business-use frozen foods business, the management resources of both companies will be combined organically. With business cooperation between ITOCHU and MN Foods, we believe Yayoi Foods will grow and develop further by building a more efficient and competitive production system, enhancing its ability to propose a wide range of products to customers and its sales force, and bolstering its sourcing capability using economies of scale.

ITOCHU will continue to develop its SIS strategy*, using its strong raw material sourcing capabilities and extensive sales channels to help create synergy between MN Foods and Yayoi Foods that harnesses the comprehensive capabilities of the Group

  • Abbreviation of the term “Strategic Integrated System.” The SIS strategy seeks efficiency in production, distribution and sales by vertically integrating the upstream (food resources development, manufacture and processing), midstream (intermediate distribution) and downstream (retail marketing), and by placing consumer needs at the starting point.

About Yayoi Foods Co., Ltd.

Company Name Yayoi Foods Co., Ltd.
Head Office 1-10-11 Shiba Daimon, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Representative Teruo Fujishima, President & CEO
Businesses Production and sales of prepared frozen foods
Capital 766 million yen
Established June 27, 1947
Major shareholder and its equity ratio ITOCHU Corporation: 93.2%

About Maruha Nichiro Foods, Inc.

Company Name Maruha Nichiro Foods, Inc.
Head Office 3-2-20 Toyosu, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Representative Michiro Sakai, President
Businesses Production, processing, and sales of frozen foods, retort pouch foods, canned foods, fish paste products, chemical products, and beverages
Capital 12,224 million yen
Established March 12, 1914
Major shareholder and its equity ratio Maruha Nichiro Holdings, Inc.: 100%