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Ajinomoto Co., Inc. Acquires all Trademarks Licensed to Ajinomoto General Foods, Inc., Including Blendy® and MAXIM®

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TOKYO (OCTOBER 31, 2016)

– Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (“Ajinomoto Co.”) entered into an agreement today to acquire the trademarks that are currently licensed to Ajinomoto General Foods, Inc. (“AGF”) and other rights from a group company of Jacobs Douwe Egberts B.V. (“JDE”) for EUR 225 million (approximately JPY 25.9 billion at the exchange rate at time of payment of EUR 1 = JPY 115).

In April 2015, Ajinomoto Co. acquired all of the 50% equity stake in AGF held by Mondelez International, Inc. (“Mondelez”) for JPY 27.0 billion and made AGF a consolidated subsidiary. However, the rights to the trademarks for AGF products such as Blendy® and MAXIM® were initially held by Mondelez and later by JDE, which took over the coffee business from Mondelez, and AGF has used the trademarks under license. The parties have now agreed to Ajinomoto Co.’s acquisition of the trademarks and other rights from JDE

The agreement covers all trademarks licensed to AGF by JDE and all trademarks held jointly by AGF and JDE. For MAXIM®, only the trademark in Japan is covered.

  • Licensed Trademarks: Blendy®, MAXIM®, TRIPLESSO®, Chyotto Zeitakuna Kohiten®, Tea Heart®, Shin-Chajin® and others
  • Joint Trademarks: Coffee Gift wa AGF® and others

This trademark acquisition removes restrictions in areas such as new product development, brand logos and licensing to other companies enabling the Ajinomoto Group to conduct an autonomous brand strategy. It also avoids the risk of the termination of trademark licenses.

OVERVIEW OF AJINOMOTO GENERAL FOODS, INC.
(1) Name: Ajinomoto General Foods, Inc.
(2) Location: Shimomoto Building, 1-46-3 Hatsudai, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
(3) Established: August 1, 1973
(4) Representative: Hideaki Shinada, President
(5) Net Sales: JPY 101.8 billion (fiscal year ended March 2016) (USD 968638198)
(6) Number of employees: 1,132 (as of April 1, 2016)
(7) Business description: Manufacture and sale of beverage products
(8) Capital: JPY 3,862.7 million (USD 36754015.40)
(9) Equity ownership: Ajinomoto Co., Inc. 95%; Ajinomoto Co., (THAILAND) LTD. 5%

SCHEDULE
(1) October 31, 2016: Signing of contract and payment for purchase
(2) November 1, 2016 (scheduled): Application for registration of transfer of title to trademarks

AGF has been creating new categories in the coffee market with products such as Blendy® Stick to continue to provide new value adapted to consumer needs. With both marketing and technological capabilities, AGF holds the top share in Japan’s home-use coffee products market (excluding canned coffee) and is expanding sales in the food service and institutional-use business.

The basic strategies of the Ajinomoto Group’s FY2014-2016 Medium-Term Management Plan are business structure reinforcement and rapid growth. Bringing mainstay brands under Group ownership will strengthen the Ajinomoto Group’s earnings structure, thereby further increasing its corporate value. The effect of this matter on fiscal 2016 business results is immaterial.

About Ajinomoto North America
Ajinomoto Co. is a global manufacturer of high-quality seasonings, processed foods, beverages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. For many decades, Ajinomoto Co. has contributed to food culture and human health through wideranging application of amino acid technologies. Today, the company is becoming increasingly involved with solutions for improved food resources, human health and global sustainability. Founded in 1909 and now operating in 27 countries and regions, Ajinomoto Co. had net sales of JPY 1,185.9 billion (USD 9.87 billion) in fiscal 2015. For more about Ajinomoto Co. (TYO: 2802), visit www.ajinorthamerica.com.

For North American media inquiries,

please contact publicrelations@ajiusa.com.