SNACKS and beverage maker Universal Robina Corp. (URC) is forming a joint venture (JV) company with Hong Kong-based Vitasoy Group to bring Vitasoy products to the Philippines.
URC said it entered into a JV agreement with Vita International Holdings Limited (Vitasoy) to manufacture and distribute Vitasoy’s “nutritious and sustainable” food and beverage products in the country.
The JV will be called Vitasoy-URC Inc. and will be equally owned by URC and Vitasoy. URC has put down P10 million as initial paid-in capital for the JV, which is expected to start commercial operations in May 2017.
“We see a perfect fit in this joint venture, as both URC and Vitasoy are companies that strive to promote both consumer well-being and sustainable nutrition,” URC President and Chief Executive Officer Lance Y. Gokongwei said in a statement.
“Vitasoy is an innovative company, a reliable employer and a responsible corporate citizen dedicated to providing food and beverages that are compatible with a healthy lifestyle to communities and to creating value for its shareholders,” he added.
Vitasoy Group CEO Roberto Guidetti said, “Vitasoy is excited about the partnership of two successful Asian family companies to bring high quality sustainable plant-based beverages to the Filipino community.”
“We consider the Philippines a very developed, competitive and diversified market which will require diligent study and learning to ensure that the JV portfolio offering will best serve the needs and desires of the Filipino community,” he added.
Established in 1940 by Dr. Kwee-seong Lo, Vitasoy is an international manufacturer and distributor of various food and beverage products which include soy, coconut milk and almond milk, as well as tofu under the Vitasoy brand. It also offers a variety of teas, juices, distilled water and other beverages under the VITA brand.
Vitasoy has manufacturing operations in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Australia and Singapore, and sells to more than 40 markets globally, with a market capitalization of over $2 billion as of end-January this year.
In a separate disclosure on Thursday, URC said it is changing its fiscal year to January to December from the previous October to September period in order to have a uniform accounting period with its parent firm JG Summit.
Under parent conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc., URC manufactures leading brands for snacks, candies, chocolates, ready-to-drink tea, and coffee.
Gokongwei-led URC has operations and distribution lines in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Middle East, Southeast Asia and West Africa.