France-based animal health company Neovia is negotiating to become China-based pet food company Sanpo’s majority shareholder and establish itself in China’s growing pet food market.

Neovia has operations in Brazil and Mexico, according to a press release. The company is also present in France and on the export market in more than 50 countries. In 2014, Neovia entered the pet food industry in Asia, Vietnam and Philippines in particular.

"The expected entry of Neovia into Sanpo’s capital means our company will be able to accelerate its investment in China, with a cutting edge dry and wet new plant of over 60,000 tonnes capacity, to accompany the growth of the market and will allow it to benefit from the key expertise of a major player in the pet food and animal nutrition sector," said Jiang Chao, managing director of Sanpo, in a press release.

"The acquisition project of a majority shareholding is in line with our twofold desire to strengthen our pet food sector (over 15 percent of Neovia's turnover) and accelerate our development in Asia,” Hubert de Roquefeuil, CEO of Neovia, said. “Sanpo will be able to conduct its growth projects [new plant], to benefit from strong synergies with our other activities and to rely on our massive investment in innovation, with a specific focus on the ‘interactive pet line’, a pet approach that includes the extensive use of new technologies and connectivity to improve interaction between owners and their pets."

Sanpo’s history in Chinese pet food market

The acquisition project of 60 percent of Sanpo shares will make Neovia the fifth largest player on the Chinese pet food market, according to Neovia. Established in 1991, Sanpo is a family owned company that ranks among the top 5 pet food producers in China.

Sanpo employs about 270 people, has a production plant in Tianjin and sales offices in the country's top 10 cities.