JBS to sell Moy Park, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© istock/AVNphotolab
© istock/AVNphotolab

Related tags: Investment

Brazilian meatpacker, the corruption hit JBS, today announced it is selling off its share in Northern Irish integrated chicken business, Moy Park, in its plan to raise around R$6bn (US$1.8 billion) to help it cut debt and reduce leverage.

It is also divesting its 19.2% stake in Brazilian dairy company, Vigor Alimentos, and its interest in US business, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding assets and farms.

The R$6bn it earns from the sales would come on top of the R$1bn already raised through the divestment of is beef assets in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

JBS bought the UK poultry group from Marfrig Global Foods less than two years ago for US$1.5bn.

Moy Park, which has its headquarters in Co. Armagh, is one of Northern Ireland’s largest firms. It employs over 9,000 people. 

Its portfolio of operations also includes several feed mills, including Moy Park Feedmill Randalstown.

Reacting to the divestment announcement, Moy Park CEO, Janet McCollum, said the poultry company’s priority remains “business as usual.”

“Moy Park is a successful and growing food business with a solid financial standing. I have no doubt that our success is due to the great strengths of this business – our exceptional people, innovation and performance. I also know that this will ensure our continued growth and stability well into the future.”

Asset sale follows plea bargain deal

JBS has been forced into asset sales due to scandals.

At the end of last month, J&F Investimentos, the parent company of JBS, agreed in court to pay US$3.2bn in corruption fines after they admitted engaging in bribery as part of a plea bargain testimony, reported the Wall Street Journal.

In their testimony, JBS chairman, Joesley Batista and CEO, Wesley Batista, who stepped down from their positions in May, admitted to paying US$150m to nearly 1,900 Brazilian politicians and government officials.

The fine levied on J&F Investimentos will be paid over the course of 25 years.

The bribes, said the Wall Street Journal, allowed the company to secure billions in funding that allowed them to acquire numerous international brands.  

Related topics: Regulation

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