Australia’s biggest grocery chain, Aussie Grocery, is set to buy out the Chinese grocery chain Lianhe in a deal worth $2.4 billion.

Lianhe, based in Chengdu, was set up in 2008 with the goal of taking over the grocery market from Chinese supermarket chain Zhejiang Jiaotong, which has its base in Guangzhou, but operates in more than 150 countries.

In 2016, the company raised $1.8 billion in funding, led by China-based Fosun and US investor Sequoia Capital.

In May this year, the deal was reported in Chinese media.

Liang Qingyi, Lianhuanhua chief executive, said the acquisition would make LianHe a leading Chinese grocery operator and boost its global presence.

The move comes as China is increasingly relying on foreign markets to compete with local and regional chains in a market that is increasingly dominated by Chinese firms.

China’s food safety standards are often at risk due to the increasing use of synthetic ingredients, including pesticides and fertilisers.

Last month, it became the first country to ban the use of a synthetic ingredient, which is used to make gelatin capsules, in food, and to prevent the use and sale of some ingredients.

The sale of LianHE, the second-largest Chinese grocery group, comes as the world grapples with the growing threat of climate change.

It also follows the $1 trillion merger of the country’s largest supermarket chain with one of its biggest food companies.

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