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Business Partnership with Bright Food Group-One of China's Biggest Food Conglomerates

Sep. 8, 2010


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On September 8, 2010, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui," head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, President: Masami Iijima) and Bright Food (Group) Co., Ltd. ("Bright Food," head office: Shanghai, Chairman of the Board: Wang Zong Nan) have reached agreement on the formation of a strategic partnership encompassing the wide-ranging food-related business activities of Bright Food. Under the partnership, Mitsui and Bright Food will cooperate in various fields, including sugar manufacturing and distribution, and will also consider the establishment of a joint venture. Another key component of the partnership is the collaboration for the development of overseas dairy product processing operations.

Bright Food is one of China's biggest food conglomerates. It was established in 2006 through the merger of several food-related companies affiliated to the Shanghai City Government. It has a domestic food value chain extending from food resources through to processing, distribution and retail. In the year ended December 2009, Bright Food recorded sales of 52 billion yuan (approximately ¥660 billion). Bright Food is China's leading supplier of sugar with its market share of around 15%. Bright Food also has numerous leading brands in such categories as dairy products, liquor and canned goods.

Under the new partnership, Mitsui and Bright Food aim to improve added value and expand its market share in existing business areas by using Japanese technology in the field of sugar manufacturing. Distribution-related goals include collaboration on various initiatives, such as the regular staging of Japanese food fairs, and the development of wholesaling infrastructure in China.

In July 2010, Bright Dairy & Food Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Bright Food, agreed to accept a private placement of new shares by Synlait Milk Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the New Zealand dairy farming and dairy product processing company, Synlait Limited, in which Mitsui owns a 22.5% shareholding. This marks the start of collaborative efforts as business partners to develop overseas dairy products processing operations.

Mitsui and Bright Food will work together on wide-ranging business initiatives and build mutual understanding through an active program of personnel exchanges. As part of these efforts, Mitsui and Bright Food have agreed to form a joint working team to drive the evolution of the partnership into more concrete business activities.

China's economic development has been accompanied by a rise in living standards, and by increasing awareness of the importance of food safety and security. This is reflected in growing expectations toward advanced Japanese food technology. Food demand is expanding rapidly in China because of population growth and rising income levels. Global efforts to secure food resources have become an increasingly important priority in this context.

Mitsui will use its business experience and technology in Japan and overseas, its specialized knowledge of business management and other fields, and its global networks to assist Bright Food with the realization of globalization and development of its business activities in China. Mitsui also aims to achieve further globalization of its food business and expand and diversify its activities in China by drawing on the resources of Bright Food, including its business experience, infrastructure and networks in a wide spectrum of business areas at both the upstream and downstream levels.

Profile of Bright Food (Group) Co., Ltd.

Head office Shanghai, People's Republic of China
Representative Wang Zong Nan, Chairman of the Board
Establishment date August 8, 2006
Shareholder Wholly owned by the Shanghai City Government
Capital 3.43 billion yuan
Sales 52.0 billion yuan (year ended December 2009)
Business activities Manufacturing of agricultural and fisheries products (rice, dairy foods, pork, vegetables, shrimps, etc.), food processing (sugar, Shaoxing wine, dairy products, beverages, canned goods, ice, confectioneries, frozen foods, etc.), wholesaling, logistics, retailing (supermarkets, convenience stores, internet sales, etc.), real estate, taxi services, etc.
Brands Bright (dairy foods), ShiKuMen (Shaoxing wine), Big White Rabbit (confectioneries), Guanshengyuan (honey), Maling (canned goods), Aquarius (mineral water)
Retail businesses Food department stores (First Provisions), supermarkets (NGS Supermarket), convenience stores (all days, KEDI, Guangming Convenience)

Notice:
This press release includes forward-looking statements about Mitsui. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of Mitsui in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause Mitsui's actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, those contained in Mitsui's latest annual report on Form 20-F, which has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
This press release is published in order to publicly announce specific facts stated above, and does not constitute a solicitation of investments or any similar act inside or outside of Japan, regarding the shares, bonds or other securities issued by us.

Information

For inquiries on this matter, please contact

Mitsui & Co., Ltd.
Corporate Communications Division
Kayo Kobayashi
Telephone: +81-3-3285-7618
Facsimile: +81-3-3285-9819