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Cherkizovo pork plant buy could up capacity 30pct

10 march 2010
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Russia's London-listed meat producer Cherkizovo group said on Wednesday it would buy two pork plants from its main shareholders, a move that could raise capacity by 30 percent. 

In a statement Cherkizovo said two plants recently built in central Russia would cost the group about $100 million, of which $20 million would be paid in cash. 

Cherkizovo will also assume the plants' debts of some $80 million to state-run banks Sberbank and Rosselkhozbank. It expects to complete the purchase in the second half of 2010. 

Cherkizovo, controlled by businessman Igor Babayev and members of his family, also expects to increase its poultry production by 40 percent in 2012. 

The group's poultry meat sales declined by just 2 percent to 184,300 tonnes last year, while pork segment sales increased 38 percent to 53,000 tonnes. 

Processed meat sales, however, fell 10 percent to 130,000 tonnes due to lower consumption resulting from the economic crisis. 

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