BEIJING – COFCO Meat, an integrated pork company based in Beijing, announced plans to build and manage large-scale hog farms and processing plants in China with the help of investors.

COFCO formed a strategic partnership with KKR, Baring Private Equity Asia, HOPU and Boyu. The company plans to leverage the resources and expertise of its partners to strengthen COFCO's position in China's meat industry. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Meat is the single-largest food category in China’s diet, and meeting this demand is a critical link and a natural extension of our company’s value chain,” said Ning Gaoning, chairman of COFCO Group. “Chinese consumers demand of COFCO to promote the meat industry and provide safe meat products. Bringing in the four strategic investors is an action by COFCO to diversify our equity ownership and enhance our corporate governance. We look forward to creating synergies among the shareholders to improve the operations and management of COFCO Meat, and together grow COFCO Meat into a much bigger actor in China’s meat industry.”

China accounts for more than 50 percent of global pork consumption, according to the China Animal Industry Yearbook. Large-scale farms in the country produce 50,000 or more hogs annually, but contribute less than 1 percent of the total domestic supply.

“This strategic partnership brings in four world-class investment funds to support COFCO Meat’s development,” said Ma Jianping, vice president of COFCO Group and chairman of COFCO Meat. “The investment is a recognition of our past achievement and future potential, and we believe these investors’ extensive global networks, professional local teams and deep operational experience will accelerate COFCO Meat’s strategic goal to become the leading provider of China’s safe meat products.”

COFCO Meat, a subsidiary of COFCO Group, is one of China's state-owned food processing companies. The company is an integrated hog and poultry producer, processor, distributor and exporter. In less than five years, the company has become one of the largest hog producers in China. The company markets its fresh and processed meat products under the Joycome and Maverick brands.