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Chinese acquisitions of US companies: A controversial practice

  • May 2015
  • -
  • MarketLine
  • -
  • 25 pages

Summary

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Introduction

The 2013 acquisition of pork-producer Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International (now WH Group) is the largest Chinese acquisition of a US company to date. This case study explores previous Chinese acquisitions and their controversies. The case study also discusses the food security issues that have led to the Smithfield acquisition and others like it.

Features and benefits

* This case study examines the growth in Chinese acquisitions of US companies from the 1990s to now, and looks at how they have changed.
* It also looks at the food security issues facing China, including a growing population, increased consumption per capita, and decreasing arable land.
* The Smithfield Foods acquisition by Shuanghuai is examined, as well as other food acquisitions by Chinese companies.
* Finally, this case study looks at the controversies that continue to surround Chinese acquisitions of US companies.

Highlights

Chinese acquisitions were dominated by state-owned companies before China became a member of the WTO and the Chinese government's approached changed, allowing privately-owned companies to engage in international M&A activity Foreign acquisitions by Chinese companies grew rapidly throughout the 2000s.
China's rapid urbanization and population growth has led to a decrease in the amount of arable land: China has one of the lowest per capita cultivated farmland in the world, with around 0.09 hectares of arable land per capita, less than half the global average and six times less than the arable land per capita in the US
Bright Food purchased a £1.2bn (approximately $108bn) 40% stake in the UK's second biggest cereal producer, Weetabix, in 2012. As of early 2015, the company is poised to buy the remaining 40%, which will give it full ownerships of brands such as Alpen, Ready Brek and Weetos.

Your key questions answered

* What are some notable examples of Chinese acquisitions of US companies?
* Why does China acquire foreign companies?
* Why is China's food security facing concerns?
* Why do Chinese acquisitions of US firms continue to generate controversy?

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