Heinz Buys Chinese Soy Sauce Maker For $165M

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- H.J. Heinz Co. said Monday that it agreed to buy Foodstar, a Chinese food company that makes soy sauces and fermented bean curd, for $165 million.

The deal would give the U.S. ketchup maker a bigger foothold in China, boosting sales in that region to $300 million a year. It would also give the Pittsburgh company its first stake in fast-growing China's $2 billion soy sauce market.

The acquisition from the private equity firm Transpac Industrial Holdings Ltd. also includes a possible extra payout in 2014 if Foodstar has strong performance as a Heinz brand.

Foodstar has about 2,500 employees in China and four manufacturing sites.

The deal still requires regulatory approval in China.

Heinz shares fell 18 cents to $46.07 in morning trading Monday.

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