Philippines-based F&B company Universal Robina Corporation (URC) has acquired a 100% stake in Malaysia's Munchy Food Industries and its wholly-owned subsidiary Munchworld Marketing from private equity firm CVC Capital Partners for RM1.925 billion.
URC's president and CEO, Irwin Lee, said the acquisition will "add immediate value" to its international product portfolio, and scale up its Malaysian market position to leadership in the biscuits category. "Munchy's, with its strong brands, talented organisation, and operational excellence, is a great strategic fit with URC. Together, we will be able to further expand the footprint of URC and Munchy's brands and unlock growth synergies in Malaysia as well as across the ASEAN region," Lee explained. Among the list of brands under URC include Jack 'n Jill, Calbee, Conagra, Danone, Vitasoy, and Nissin.
Munchy's was established in 1991 and offers a variety of biscuits including Munchy's Cream Crackers, LEXUS Cream Sandwich, Oat Krunch, Muzic Wafer, and Choc-O cookies. It is available in most retail outlets in Malaysia and more than 50 countries globally.
Munchy's CEO Rodney Wong said the team is excited to become part of URC and that the move will allow Munchy's to have access to R&D expertise in multiple categories, enhance market knowledge, route to market, and manufacturing capabilities in countries outside of Malaysia. According to him, this will translate to the development of innovative forward-thinking offerings to its consumers and strengthen its presence in the ASEAN market.
"Both companies share a common purpose, values and ambition where we both put people first in everything we do, looking to delight everyone with good food choices and inspire happiness together. We would like to thank CVC for their expertise and support over the last three years and look forward for the next phase of profitable growth for Munchy's," Wong said.
CVC's senior MD, Alvin Lim, said this has been a highly successful partnership between CVC and the excellent leadership team at Munchy's that has seen the company expand into new geographies and the launch of numerous innovative and delicious products. "Universal Robina Corporation is the perfect new home for Munchy's and we wish them the very best for the future," he added.
Separately, earlier this month, the Malaysian Federal Court ruled that Huasin Food Industries has infringed on the trademark of Munchy Food Industries for its Lexus-branded biscuits. Munchy Food has held the trademark for Lexus since 23 January 1998, 17 years before Huasin Food had even commenced the use of its trademark, the written judgement said.
The three-member court bench was led by Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh and included Justice Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Justice Hasnah Mohammed Hashim. All three judges were in agreement in their decision meted out on 5 October that Munchy Food held exclusive rights to the trademark.
The dispute between both parties dates back to 2015 when Munchy Food first received a complaint from its customer who had wrongly associated Lexus-branded biscuit with the Lex-branded one produced by Huasin Food. According to the written judgement, Huasin Food used a combined mark comprising of stylised "Lex" in a circular design with a curved stalk of wheat from its cream sandwich biscuit products.
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