Brazil's JBS SA will acquire the poultry and pork unit of rival Marfrig Alimentos SA for $2.75 billion in assumed debt. The transaction will give JBS, the world's largest meatpacker, Marfrig's Seara-branded Brazilian poultry, pork and processed foods business, along with a Uruguay-based leather operation.
With Seara, JBS will increase its share of Brazil's poultry and pork market. The deal will also help Marfrig nearly eliminate the $6.1 billion debt load that it racked up after a series of recent takeovers of smaller rivals. The deal will also allow Marfrig to focus on its beef operation in Brazil, the filing said, while JBS will become the second-largest processed meat producer in the country.
Marfrig, Brazil's second-largest poultry and pork producer, will become a much smaller company, according to a Reuters report. In the first quarter, the Seara Brasil unit's sales rose 48 percent, accounting for 30 percent of Marfrig total revenue.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval by Brazil's antitrust watchdog, Cade. In April, Cade approved JBS's purchase of Brazil's Bertin and 11 smaller meatpackers, but said it would monitor JBS's position in the Brazilian beef market. Since Seara's main products are poultry and pork, the JBS purchase may not raise the same concerns at Cade.