After receiving the necessary government approvals, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc. acquired Shandong Xinchang Group as its third Chinese joint venture, announced company officials July 20.

"We got the government approvals (the) week before last, and now we are legally in a joint venture with Xinchang with 60% share," Joe Zhu, the marketing director of Tyson China, told Poultry International.

The new venture  -- Shandong Tyson Xinchang Foods Company Ltd., -- is expected to produce 100 million birds every year and distribute frozen poultry products to China's wholesales channels.

With the help of the approval, Tyson can also benefit from Xinchang's new contract. Last week, Shanghai-based the China division of Yum! Brands Inc. signed about US$732 million agreement with Xinchang Group and other two local suppliers for chicken purchasing.

Shandong Xinchang Group has integrated poultry operations in eastern China with estimated 2009 sales of US$345 million. Its business includes poultry breeders, broiler production, feed mills, hatcheries and poultry processing.