AB Foods scales back in China

The British conglomerate has sold its China cane sugar business to Nanning Sugar; making it the latest foreign company to bow out in the face of fierce local competition.

Associated British Foods AB Foods said on Monday that it has agreed to sell its Chinese cane sugar business to a consortium led by Nanning Sugar, making it the latest foreign company to sell assets in the world’s second-largest economy.

Shenzhen-listed Nanning Sugar said it was paying CNY1.68 billion $252 million for control of the four parts of the business in a statement to the stock exchange. The enterprise value for the business is around $500 million, according to a person familiar with the asset.

Nanning Sugar counts the Guangxi government among its investors. It signaled its intent to make acquisitions in June when it established...

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