Tyson Foods Purchases Indian Poultry Processor

Tyson Foods Inc. of Springdale is making another move into an emerging market. The company on Monday said it purchased 51 percent of Mumbai, India-based Godrej Foods Inc., a subsidiary of Godrej Agrovet Ltd.

The new venture is called Godrej Tyson Foods, and is expected to reach initial annual sales of $50 million.

The deal includes two chicken processing plants in Mumbai and Bangalore, which handle a combined output of 60,000 birds a day with 1,000 employees.

"Poultry production and consumption is growing in India and we believe the timing is right for us to bring our expertise and resources to this emerging market," Rick Greubel, group vice president and international president for Tyson Foods said in a news release.

"India has a population of more than 1.1 billion people, and while per capita chicken consumption there is currently less than five pounds a year, its annual growth rate of more than 10 percent is among the highest in the world."

The new venture is in line with Tyson's plans for moving into foreign markets by partnering with companies in those countries.

Last week, Tyson announced that it was selling a Canadian beef operation.