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Japanese investor on board with Manitoba's HyLife

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HyLife Ltd., the locally-owned Manitoba pork processor, has landed a strategic investment from a Japanese customer, Itochu Corporation.

The Japanese company has invested $56.5 million for a 33.4 per cent stake in HyLife, according to a release from Itochu Corp.

HyLife officials said the investment will further strengthen HyLife’s position in the global market of food production and allow it to expand its business.

Don Janzen, president of HyLife, said, "This is a very exciting time for HyLife. We have had several years of significant growth, and this investment will propel us even further in our business plans."

Itochu, a leader in global investments, acquired a minority interest in the company. The deal does not mean there will be any change in ownership control or management.

"Not only does the investment contribute to HyLife’s sustainability, it opens up further potential for growth and creation of more jobs in the future," said Grant Lazaruk, CEO of HyLife.

Based in La Broquerie, Man., HyLife produces more than 1.4 million pigs annually. Its integrated livestock operations include a hog processing plant in Neepawa which is currently in the midst of a major expansion.

Itochu officials said the company's investment in HyLife has a lot to do with the Manitoba company’s expansion strategy and its priorities in developing business in Japan and Asia.

Itochu has a focus on China, where pork consumption continues to grow, as well as in the Japanese market.

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Updated on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:41 PM CST: updates with full write-thru

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