COFCO Fortune, the agri and grain business arm of China’s largest food manufacturer, COFCO Group, has secured 21 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) in a strategic investment.

The subsidiary of the state-owned COFCO Group raised the financing from investors including China’s National Council for Social Security Fund, which manages the country’s national pension fund, according to a statement by China International Capital Corporation (CICC), a lead financial adviser of the deal.

A group of state-owned companies, such as COSCO Shipping Group, China Chengtong Holdings Group, China Life Insurance, and China Public Private Partnerships Fund Management, participated in the deal.

COFCO Fortune, founded in 2020, operates a global network for the processing, warehousing, logistics, and sales of agricultural products such as grains, edible oil, sugar, and cotton.

The firm claims to be the biggest grain and oil exporter to Argentina as well as China’s largest soya exporter to Brazil. Its 2022 revenue is said to have crossed 500 billion yuan ($73.7 billion).

The deal coincides with COFCO Fortune’s plan of going public on a domestic stock exchange. As of now, it is still preparing for an initial public offering (IPO) under the guidance of CICC. A January 6 filing by CICC reveals that the firm is in the process of improving its corporate governance and accounting management system ahead of the planned IPO.

COFCO Fortune has yet to reveal its targeted listing timeframe and location.

The strategic investment marks the latest effort by its parent COFCO Group to consolidate its agribusiness and build an international brand with a strong foothold beyond China.

“With the successful completion of the strategic investment, COFCO Group is expecting to see exponential development of the main agribusiness. The deal will help promote a thorough integration of our global agricultural and grain resources and lift the group’s operational efficiency,” said the parent in a separate statement.

COFCO Group, which is primarily involved in agribusiness, also runs finance and real estate as its complementary business lines. It is the parent of 16 listed firms such as Hong Kong-listed food processing and trading firm China Foods Limited, dairy products maker Mengniu Dairy, and property developer Joy City Property.

The group’s total assets reached 686 billion yuan ($101.1 billion) with 664.9 billion yuan ($98 billion) in overall operating income and 23.8 billion yuan ($3.5 billion) in total profit as of the end of 2021, shows its official website.

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