American Lorain Corporation (ALN) today announced that the company has signed a Joint Venture Agreement ("JV Agreement") with Hisaya Ltd. ("Hisaya"), a premium roast chestnut retailer from Japan.
Hisaya is the largest premium roast chestnut retail chain in Japan and now operates over 50 retail kiosks. According to the JV Agreement, American Lorain and Hisaya will hold 51% and 49% of the joint venture, respectively, with a total initial share capital of RMB 500,000, or USD 77,000. The joint venture will aim the high-end premium chestnut market in China leveraging American Lorain's domestic branch office networks as well as Hisaya's successful operation model in Japan. The first set of kiosks will be opened in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
American Lorain's Chairman and CEO, Mr. Si Chen, stated, "Hisaya is the most successful premium roast chestnut chain operator in Japan. American Lorain started test production and sale of high-end premium roast chestnuts in 2010. Through this joint venture, we are able to further capitalize on Hisaya's advanced operation model and quality control standards introduced from Japan. Meanwhile, the premium roast chestnut aims the underdeveloped high-end chestnut consumption space, which I believe will be very helpful in defining and expanding this chestnut sub-market, and thus enhance the value-added and brand recognition for our chestnut products as a whole."