SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – CJ Group, South Korea’s leading food and entertainment conglomerate, will step up its global expansion through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the bio and logistics business to foster new growth drivers, company officials said Wednesday.
CJ has been grappling with stagnant growth after its chairman Lee Jay-hyun’s indictment on embezzlement and tax evasion in 2013. The firm’s sales growth has cooled to single digits over the past three years. Its consolidated sales were 29.1 trillion won (US$24.5 billion) in 2015.
There was a growing sense of urgency to move onto the big overseas projects after an appeals court last month confirmed a 30-month jail term for the 55-year-old tycoon. He appealed the court decision, but it is highly unlikely that his term will be overturned in the top court.
With growth in the domestic market reaching its limit, CJ said it will expand into the global market through M&As in the bio and logistics sectors.
“We have to speed up expansion through global projects,” CJ Group CEO Sohn Kyung-sik said in a speech for the new year on Monday.
CJ is believed to have enough firepower for big deals after its home shopping channel unit sold its stakes in CJ Hellovision Co., the country’s No. 1 cable channel, for about 1 trillion won last month.
CJ Korea Express Corp., its logistics unit, last year acquired China’s Rokin Logistics, and now is looking for more deals to expand its business to beef up its ultrafast delivery service.
CJ Cheiljedang Corp., the nation’s leading food company, is setting its sights on companies that develop food additives, seed plants, and others from microorganisms and plants.
CJ CGV Co., its cinema chain affiliate, is also seeking to expand its presence in China and other Asian countries on the back of popularity of Korean pop culture and movies. It lost out two bids to enter the Indian market last year.