Brazil-based meat and poultry company JBS has agreed to buy European poultry company Moy Park from Brazilian competitor Marfrig for a price of about $1.5 billion.
The proposed transaction will involve a $1.19 billion investment from JBS for the acquisition, with another $318 million being invested to take on Moy Park’s current debt. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
The news of the proposed acquisition comes one month after JBS CEO Wesley Batista said the company will “for sure” be looking at potential acquisitions in the chicken and pork sectors, as well as the packaged food sectors. That statement was a direct departure from comments Batista made during the JBS quarterly earnings call on March 11, when he said the company would not pursue acquisitions in 2015, but would instead seek organic growth.
Moy Park, whose key product categories include chicken, turkey, broiler hatching eggs, feed sales and beef, processes 234 million birds annually, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database. It has 4 processing plants and 6 further processing plants.
Moy Park has been in a state of expansion in recent months, as it announced plans to complete at least 250 new poultry houses in Northern Ireland. In addition to Northern Ireland, Moy Park also produces and processes poultry in Ireland, England, the Netherlands and France.