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Ajinomoto Group Announces Acquisition of Windsor Foods

September 10, 2014

CONTACT: Haruo Kurata

Transaction makes Ajinomoto Group a global leader in Japanese and Asian food manufacturing, provides access to Windsor’s market-leading Mexican, Italian and appetizer brands.

Fort Le, NJ – Ajinomoto Co. Inc. (Ajinomoto Co.), a worldwide leader in high-quality seasonings and foods headquartered in Tokyo, announced today that it has entered into an agreement through its subsidiary Ajinomoto North America, Inc. to acquire Houston-based Windsor Quality Holdings LP, a leading manufacturer of ethnic frozen foods in the U.S.

The acquisition will enable Ajinomoto Co. to combine its global strength in food manufacturing with Windsor’s strong market position, distribution network, sales capabilities and production facilities throughout the U.S.

'I am delighted that we can announce this agreement with Windsor Foods, a company with a portfolio of leading frozen food brands and a strong retail and foodservice distribution network. We are particularly excited about the prospect of working more closely with Windsor’s excellent management and employees who will play an integral part in the future success of the business,' said Masatoshi Ito, President and CEO of Ajinomoto Co.

'Ajinomoto Co. shares Windsor Foods’ commitment to long-term sustainable growth and innovation. Integrating our company into the Ajinomoto Group will create a powerful new force in the U.S. ethnic frozen food market,' said Greg Geib, President and CEO of Windsor Foods. 'At Windsor, we are committed to building leading brands and businesses, and to doing right by our employees. This transaction accomplishes both.'

Windsor is a leading producer of high-quality frozen foods for consumers, commercial restaurants, foodservice operators and industrial customers. Windsor owns leading brands in the three largest categories of ethnic frozen foods across distribution channels in the United States, including Tai Pei (Asian), Bernardi (Italian) and José Olé (Mexican).

The $800 million transaction, which is expected to be completed by November 2014, does not include Windsor’s sister company, Quality Sausage in Dallas, Texas. The Ajinomoto Group will maintain Windsor’s management structure, employees and production facilities across the U.S.

With operations in 26 countries and regions, the acquisition will move Ajinomoto Co. toward its goal of becoming the No. 1 manufacturer of Japanese and Asian foods in the growing Asian category of the North American frozen food market by accelerating sales through U.S. retail channels nationwide. Windsor’s strong brands and market positions in the Mexican, Italian and appetizer segments will provide Ajinomoto Co. access to new categories that will be further leveraged in the U.S. and global markets. The acquisition will also strengthen Ajinomoto Co.’s foundation in the foodservice channel by using Windsor’s broad distribution network, where approximately 120,000 restaurants purchase its products.

Windsor will provide Ajinomoto Co. with an established growth-oriented platform into the North American market. Windsor Foods’ ethnic positioning, leading brands and channel diversity, combined with Ajinomoto Co.’s global scale and resources, will position the combined company for long-term global growth and success.

About Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Ajinomoto Co., Inc. is a global manufacturer of high-quality seasonings, processed foods, beverages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. For many decades, Ajinomoto Co. has contributed to food culture and human health through wide-ranging application of amino acid technologies. Today, the company is becoming increasingly involved with solutions for improved food resources, human health and global sustainability. Founded in 1909 and now operating in 26 countries and regions, Ajinomoto Co. had consolidated net sales of JPY 991.3 billion (USD 11 billion) in fiscal 2013. For more about Ajinomoto Co. (TYO: 2802), visit www.ajinomoto.com. Ajinomoto Co. established a full-scale frozen food business in North America in 2000. That business has now grown to approximately $130 million in sales, comprised mainly of sales of high-quality pot stickers, noodles and rice products adapted for the American consumer. For more about Ajinomoto North America, visit www.ajihealthandnutrition.com.

About Windsor Foods:
Windsor Foods is a privately held company that manufactures and markets highquality specialty frozen foods. Windsor operates seven manufacturing plants located in five states and has about 1,700 employees. The award-winning Windsor Foods offers diverse and popular brand lines that include Tai Pei, Ling Ling and Golden Tiger Pan-Asian appetizers, Bernardi Italian cuisine, José Olé and Posada Mexican appetizers and specialties, and Fred's for Starters appetizers. For more information, visit www.windsorfoods.com