Tyson Foods has agreed to acquire the Thai and European operations of BRF. The US$340 million purchase includes four processing facilities in Thailand, one processing facility in the Netherlands and one processing facility in the United Kingdom.

This deal builds on the company’s growth strategy to expand offerings of value-added protein in global markets. 

“As noted when we acquired Keystone Foods on November 30, we believe some of our biggest growth opportunities are in value-added foods and international markets,” said Noel White, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “In addition to domestic benefits, the Keystone acquisition provided us with a scalable production platform in the Asian poultry market. The acquisition of these BRF facilities will help complement and strengthen our presence in Thailand, and provide new capabilities in Europe, enhancing our ability to serve growing global demand for value-added protein.”

Brazil-based BRF, which has posted disappointing financial results in recent years, in 2018 announced its intent to divest of its operations in Argentina, Thailand and Europe in order to focus on markets in Brazil, other portions of Asia and countries with a high Muslim population. BRF has already reached agreements to sell all of its assets in Argentina.

The vertically integrated poultry operations in Thailand include a feed mill, hatchery, breeder farms and contract growing operations supplying live birds for the four poultry processing facilities. These four plants produce a wide range of fresh and frozen, value-added raw and fully cooked poultry products including highly specialized cuts for retail and foodservice customers throughout Asia and other export markets, including Europe.

The processing locations in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are supported by in-house innovation capabilities for developing further-processed chicken products for retail and foodservice customers throughout Europe. Products are sold under Grabits, Hot ‘N’ Kickin’Chicken, Speedy Pollo and the Sadia brands, in addition to key customer-owned brands.

“It’s estimated that approximately 90 percent of global protein consumption growth will occur outside the United States, with 60 percent of the volume growth coming from Asia over the next 5 years,” said Donnie King, group president of International for Tyson Foods. “Increasing our international footprint with in-country operations and export capabilities will help Tyson Foods strategically access new markets and better serve the growing global demand for our value-added protein.”

Tyson Foods, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, is the second largest poultry company in the world, while BRF is the third largest.

Terms and conditions

Additional terms of the deal are not being disclosed. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the company’s fiscal third quarter. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. 

BofA Merrill Lynch is acting as exclusive financial adviser to Tyson Foods on the acquisition, and Clifford Chance LLP is acting as its legal counsel for the transaction.