Olam Forms Joint Venture With Blommer
Blommer Chocolate, the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America and commodities trader Olam International, announced the formation of a joint venture, GrowCocoa on a 50:50 basis. GrowCocoa will bolster the cocoa supply chain based on the combined strengths of both partners; in origin sourcing and access to farmer groups, technical chocolate product manufacturing expertise and established retail customer relationships. The joint venture also aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa communities, encourage long-term commitment and investment in a sustainable supply chain and develop strategic partnerships with governments, national institutions, relevant non-governmental organisations and funding partners. Olam and Blommer first combined their efforts in a programme in Indonesia in 2004 where cocoa was in decline due to low incomes and increasing problems related to pests and diseases.
Significance: The partnership between Olam and Blommer allows both parties to leverage each other’s strengths and capabilities, which would enable them to develop a sustainable and traceable supply chain based on good quality.
Banyan Tree Ventures Into Vietnam With New Resort
Banyan Tree Holdings will launch its first project in Vietnam via an integrated resort Laguna Lang Cô on 1 November. The resort, which is located on a 280-hectare site along the coast of central Vietnam, will include Banyan Tree and Angsana hotels and spas, an 18-hole golf course designed by Nick Faldo, private villas and residences as well as convention facilities and recreational activities. The development’s residences offer ocean-facing villas and condominium units for sale. The first phase of the project required a US$200 million investment, bankrolled by the Banyan Tree Indochina Hospitality Fund, a real estate investment fund established by the group in 2008. The fund had raised US$283 million in total.
Significance: The foray into Vietnam is in line with Banyan Tree’s strategy as it wishes to replicate the success of its integrated resort in Phuket. The group is confident that the project will flourish as a holiday and premium properties destination for both domestic and international luxury tourism.
Sunpower Secures Rmb112m Worth Of Contacts
China-based heat transfer technology specialist, Sunpower Group announced that its subsidiary, Jiangsu Sunpower Technology, has been awarded a Rmb39.9 million contract from Ningbo Haiyue New Material Company, a subsidiary of Shanghai-listed petroleum gas refinery Zhejiang Haiyue Company. Under the contract, Sunpower will deliver three sets of high efficiency heat exchangers for the Project located in Ningbo, China in 2013. This new contract came shortly after the company clinched a Rmb25.3 million contract for chemical fertiliser producer and Rmb46.8 million contract for coal refinery in late May and early June respectively. This brings the value of total contracts signed in a month to Rmb112 million.
Significance: Sunpower expects these new orders to have a positive impact on its financial performance from FY13 onwards. The group would also likely benefit from the order momentum given the government led consolidation in China’s petrochemical deep-processing industry.