Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (CPF) is looking for investment opportunities in the US and Europe, where distressed assets are available and economies are beginning to recover.
But the company insists any acquisitions will involve assets with sound and promising businesses. They must also complement CPF's existing businesses.
"We will focus on food, which we're very good at," said Adirek Sripratak, the president and chief executive.
Mr Adirek's remarks came after Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman and chief executive of the Charoen Pokphand Group, recently told a Thai-Chinese Business Council forum that the group is looking to invest in the US retail and food sectors, with negotiations pending.
More details have yet to be disclosed.
Mr Adirek said CPF alone will spend 75 billion baht over the next five years, half of which will go to expanding its international feed, farm and food interests.
The investment will be funded by the company's capital and borrowings from financial institutions.
CPF posted net profit growth of 17% to 18.8 billion baht last year, up from a revised 16.1 billion in 2011.
Full-year sales rose by 73% to 357 billion baht.
CPF predicts annual sales growth of at least 15% over the next five years, eventually reaching 700 billion baht in 2016.
"The sales growth forecast will be driven by the company's three strategies _ an expansion of the existing livestock and farm sector, an increase in value-added products and potential acquisitions in the EU, the US and Asia," said Mr Adirek.
But he stressed Thailand will remain the production base and account for the lion's share of investment.
Sales growth in Asia has stabilised on regional economic growth and the rising middle class, notably in China, India and Asean.
International sales represent half of the company's revenue.
CPF is in 12 global markets and counts Tesco in Britain and Costco in the US among its biggest buyers.
Its products range from animal feed and processed foods to ready-made meals under the CP brand.
About the author
- Writer: Chatrudee Theparat
Position: Business Reporter