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Change in ANZCO Shareholding to Further Strengthen the Business

Itoham Yonekyu Holdings Inc, through its fully owned subsidiary Itoham Foods Inc, has received Ministerial consent under the Overseas Investment Act to increase its shareholding in ANZCO Foods Limited from 65% to 100%.

ANZCO Foods in 2016 was New Zealand’s fifth largest exporter and second largest meat industry related business with an annual turnover of $1.45 billion. The company has 3,000 employees, mainly in regional New Zealand, and a network of eight offshore offices.

ANZCO Foods is currently 82.35% overseas owned. The increase in Itoham Yonekyu’s shareholding will come from the purchase of all shares now held by Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd (Nissui), and ANZCO Foods directors and management. Nissui holds 16.76% of the shares while the chairman of ANZCO Foods, Sir Graeme Harrison, and management have 18.24%.

Itoham Foods Inc in April, 2016 became a wholly owned subsidiary of Itoham Yonekyu Holdings Inc. Itoham Yonekyu was created as a vehicle for the merger of the businesses of Itoham Foods and Yonekyu Corporation which at the time of the merger were the second and seventh largest meat processing and marketing companies in Japan.

Itoham Foods’ association with ANZCO Foods dates back to 1989 when the two companies formed a 50/50 partnership that resulted in the establishment of Five Star Beef Limited and the construction of New Zealand’s only large scale beef cattle feedlot in Mid Canterbury.

Itoham Foods joined a management led buyout of the then New Zealand Meat Producers’ Board shareholding in ANZCO Foods in 1995 and held a minority 48% until 2015 when it increased its position to 65%.

The change in the ownership of ANZCO Foods will complete a planned succession process for the business. The founder and current chairman, Sir Graeme Harrison, signalled his impending retirement in 2015. He will now do so at the next ANZCO Foods Annual General Meeting in March, 2018.

Nissui will end its long financial association with ANZCO Foods, also dating back to 1989. Nissui are a 50% shareholder, with Maori, in the Sealord Group. Sir Graeme Harrison has been a Nissui appointed director on the Sealord board since 2001 and will retire from that position at the end of this year.

Itoham Yonekyu Holdings is a listed company in Japan and has some of Japan’s most notable investors. The largest is the giant Mitsubishi Corporation which holds 39% of the shares.

Itoham Yonekyu’s move to take full ownership of ANZCO Foods is a strong vote of confidence in the New Zealand meat sector. ANZCO Foods is an important part of the company’s strategy to grow its business internationally, particularly in Asian markets outside Japan.

ANZCO Foods will be able to capitalise on synergy benefits and efficiencies from the considerable experience and networks of Itoham Yonekyu and Mitsubishi Corporation.

Itoham Yonekyu has signalled that it will not be making any significant changes to the business operations of ANZCO Foods in the foreseeable future.



To download a copy of the media release click here


For further information please contact:

Sir Graeme Harrison

Chairman, ANZCO Foods

0275 737521