Japan-US Business Report LogoJapan-U.S. Business Report

No. 345, June 1998

Issue Index

Japanese Companies in the US


FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS

Japan's top institutional food service company is using an acquisition to bolster its expertise in this field. For $45.4 million, SHIDAX CORP. bought a 74.3 percent interest in BON APPETIT CO. The 11-year-old Menlo Park, California company provides food service to corporations and schools in 13 states. It employs 5,000 people and has annual revenues approaching $150 million. The renamed SHIDAX BON APPETIT CO. continues to be run by the same management team, which owns the remaining 25.7 percent of the company's shares. The ties between the two companies date to last summer when Bon Appetit helped Shidax on HACCP (hazard analysis clinical control point) methods for food facilities.

In its second deal with a top U.S. food company, MATSUTANI CHEMICAL INDUSTRY CO., LTD. has a contract to supply its FDA-approved water-based food fiber to KRAFT GENERAL FOODS, INC. Early last year, the Hyogo prefecture company consigned production of FiberSol-2 for the American market to ARCHER-DANIELS-MIDLAND CO. With the Kraft contract as well as the earlier one from CAMPBELL SOUP CO., the big Decatur, Illinois agribusiness will expand its FiberSol-2 capacity to about 17,600 tons a year from the current 4,400 tons. The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 1998.

An exchange rate of ¥135=$1.00 was used in this report.
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