Cobb-Vantress has become the first primary broiler breeding company to take a majority shareholding position in China for the production and sale of parent stock. Cobb-Vantress has signed a joint venture agreement with integrated chicken producer Hubei Tong Xing Agriculture Co.

Under the agreement, a total of $35 million will be invested in establishing grandparent farm and hatchery facilities in the city of Suizhou in Hubei province, west of Shanghai, to start parent stock production early in 2015. The agreement was signed by Jerry Moye, president of Cobb-Vantress, and Yang Shenghong, chairman of Tong Xing.

The joint venture company, officially known as Hubei Tong Xing Cobb Breeding Company, will be 85 percent owned by Cobb and 15 percent by Tong Xing, with an initial parent stock production target of 5 million parents a year.

"Tong Xing has been one of our customers for the past four years and we're excited at this opportunity to work closer together in this joint venture," said Moye. "They are located in an area of China with a low chicken population, yet it's very accessible with good transport links.

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"This represents a very significant step forward for Cobb to get a foot on the ground in China. Our strategy has been to develop relationships with our customers directly in the major world markets like the U.S., Brazil and European Union. The time is right to enter China."

"It will be the first and biggest grandparent operation in South and Middle China," added Yang Shenghong, chairman of Hubei Tong Xing Agriculture Co. "We believe Cobb will bring the latest technology to the poultry industry and provide clean and healthy breeders. It will be an excellent opportunity and valuable experience for Tong Xing to work together with Cobb to further improve the efficiency of integrated poultry production including breeder, hatchery, broiler, processing and biosecurity."

Hubei Tong Xing Cobb Breeding Company is targeting sites for farm and hatchery facilities, with the plan for construction work to begin before the end of the year and the first grandparent stock to be placed next summer.  This would enable the first parent stock chicks to be hatched at the start of 2015.