(ATTN: ADDS details throughout; UPDATES with minor edits)
SEOUL, Nov. 15 (Yonhap) -- CJ Cheiljedang Corp., South Korea's leading food manufacturer, said Thursday it will sign a deal to buy a U.S. frozen food company for 2.09 trillion won (US$1.84 billion) in its latest move to expand its presence in overseas markets.
Under the deal, CJ Cheiljedang will buy an 80 percent stake of Schwan's Co., according to the South Korean firm.
The deal, when completed early next year, will be the largest foreign merger and acquisition deal ever carried out by food and entertainment giant CJ Group.
Founded in 1952, the Minnesota-based Schwan's has 17 production plants and 10 logistics centers in the United States, with some 12,000 employees. It is expected to post 2.3 trillion won in sales this year.
Through the acquisition, the number of production facilities operated by CJ Cheiljedang in the U.S. will increase from five to 22. The South Korean food manufacturer said its revenue in the U.S. market will hover around 400 billion won this year.
The decision is part of CJ Cheiljedang's broader global drive. In August, the company announced the takeover of another U.S. firm, Kahiki Foods, and Germany's Mainfrost.
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