Brazil-based meat and poultry company JBS has shut down seven plants in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul as a result of a court-ordered asset freeze.
The action is related to a tax matter in the state.
The company, in a statement emailed to Reuters, stated that the plants will remain closed until the matter is resolved. The closure affects the jobs of 15,000 workers directly, and another 60,000 indirect jobs in Mato Grossso Do Sul, which borders Paraguay.
The asset freeze is the latest blow to JBS, which according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database is the world’s largest poultry processor, slaughtering 3.5 billion head of chickens annually. It is also the world’s second-largest pig processor, according to rankings published in Pig International, slaughtering 28 million pigs annually.
A recent corruption scandal involving former CEO Wesley Batista, and his brother, Joesley Batista, the company’s former chairman, led to the appointment of new leaders. The brothers, father, José Batista Sobrinho, also the founder of the company, has since been named CEO of the company. Tarek Farahat has been named the company’s new chairman.
Both Wesley and Joesley have been incarcerated on suspicion of insider trading. They allegedly used classified information to improve their financial position. That classified information was allegedly obtained during the plea-bargaining process after the two admitted to bribing Brazilian politicians.
Earlier this week, JBS withdrew its request with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) of its subsidiary, JBS Foods International. No reasons for that decision were given.
Brazil's JBS shuts seven plants after $230 million asset freeze
Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA shut down its seven slaughterhouses in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul due to a court-ordered $230 million asset freeze, a press representative said on Wednesday.