JBS has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of King’s Group by its subsidiary Rigamonti, currently a leader in production of bresaola. 

With this acquisition, JBS will have a presence in Italy’s three largest regions for specialties of pork with the Protected Denomination of Origin (DOP) and Protected Geographical Indication (IGP) seals. These classifications used by the European Union recognize the quality and unique characteristics of food produced in specific locations.

With the investment of EUR82 million (US$ 92.5 million), the company acquires four plants in Italy, two in the province of Parma, one in Vicenza and the fourth in Udine, as well as the entire operation of Principe in the United States, which includes a plant dedicated to slicing cuts in New Jersey.

The deal also covers the commercial operations of two historic brands renowned for their high quality in the Italian delicatessen market: King’s brand, founded in 1907 in Sossano, in the Veneto region, recognized by the Italian government as a “Historical Brand of National Interest”, and Principe brand, founded in 1945 in Trieste, in the region of Friulli-Venezia Giulia. Rigamonti now holds a 20% equity stake in Piggly, Italy’s first producer of sustainable, 100% antibiotic-free pigs, with facilities in Mantova and Verona.

Present in the United States and in over 20 countries, King’s Group is a market leader in the production of Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP and is an important player in the production of Prosciutto di Parma DOP, in addition to producing specialties like GranSpeck and Prosciutto Veneto DOP. The entire management of these assets will be assumed by Rigamonti, world leader in the production of Bresaola IGP.

The planned acquisition of King’s Group facilities and brands is strategic to the expansion of JBS in the United States and Europe, but also in other regions because the company will now have a portfolio and structure for producing and distributing authentic Italian specialties like prosciutto, bresaola, bologna sausage, speck and salami with certification of origin, using craft manufacturing and curing techniques.

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“This acquisition is in line with our strategic approach of growing in high value-added products. It puts us among the leaders in Italian ‘salumeria’ and leverages our commercial strategy in the U.S., where we are investing US$200 million in an Italian specialties plant. The growth potential of the King’s and Príncipe brands in Europe and the United States is significant,” said Gilberto Tomazoni, JBS global CEO. 

“We are certain that JBS will work to preserve the intangible value of our brands and products with certification of origin, protecting the history of these veritable items of Italian heritage as it has already done with Rigamonti,” said Claudio Palladi, Rigamonti CEO.

JBS will also reap additional synergy in the U.S. market where the company’s subsidiary Swift Prepared Foods is building a new Italian meats and charcuterie facility in Columbia, Missouri, expected to open in 2022.

The deal was approved by the JBS board of directors and will be concluded after approval by antitrust authorities.

JBS' announcement of its intent to acquire King's Group follows several other similar announcement. Within the past several months, JBS revealed it had plans to acquire Huon Aquaculture, BioTech Foods and Sunnyvalley Smoked Meats.