CJ CheilJedang Buys Russian Frozen Food Company
Seoul, South Korea-headquartered CJ CheilJedang Corp. on June 1 announced the purchase of Ravioli OOO, a Russian frozen food maker based in St. Petersburg, for 30 billion won (approximately US $26.8 million). The company, which makes pelmeni (dumplings) and other products, was founded in 1994 and rang up sales equivalent to 45 billion won last year.
According to the buyer, Russia’s frozen food market is worth about 4 trillion won. It aims to invest more than 13 billion won to upgrade the CJ Raviollo Rus plant and boost production of Bibigo dumplings, which is the No. 1 mandu (the Korean word for dumpling) brand in South Korea. The factory’s geographic location at Russia’s “window to the west” should enable the company to better penetrate European countries as well as expand business in the Russian Federation.
CJ CheilJedang has reportedly invested 200 billion won (approximately US $171.09 million) in South Korea, the United States and China over the past several years to enhance brand value, research and development capability, and manufacturing capacity. In 2016 it generated 330 billion won (US $282.29 million) in dumpling sales at home and abroad. The goal is to reach the1 trillion won mark (US $855.43 million) in Bibigo dumpling product sales by 2020, with 70% of the receipts coming from foreign markets.
In Germany, the company produces Bibigo items at the Mainfrost GmbH factory in Nidderau. It also makes dumplings in Vietnam, having acquired the Cau Tre factory last year. Production takes place in the United States as well, where sales are now growing beyond the Korean-American community.
Ranked as the No. 1 food company in South Korea, CJ CheilJedang employs approximately 5,600 people worldwide and posted sales of US $12.55 billion in 2016. In addition to value-added foods and food ingredients, the conglomerate’s other core businesses are feed and livestock, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, entertainment media, home shopping and logistics.