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Pilgrim's Pride to buy UK poultry processor Moy Park from JBS for $1.3bn

FBR Staff Writer Published 12 September 2017

Chicken producer Pilgrim's Pride has agreed to acquire JBS’ British poultry unit Moy Park for $1.3bn to expand its portfolio of prepared foods.

By adding Moy Park’s operations in the UK and Continental Europe, Pilgrim's Pride also expects to create a major global poultry and prepared foods company.

The sale of Moy Park is part of JBS' divestment plan, which enables it to maintain a robust financial performance while also forming a more efficient corporate structure.

The meat processing firm said that it intends to use the proceeds from the sale to cut down on its short-term debt in Brazil and also in boosting its debt profile and liquidity.

Founded in 1943 in Northern Ireland, Moy Park is among the leading poultry producers in Europe providing fresh, locally farmed poultry products. Sourcing its poultry from more than 800 farmers across the UK, Moy Park processes over 5.7 million birds each week.

The UK-based poultry meat producer operates 13 processing plants located in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and France. It supplies its poultry products to major food retailers and restaurant chains.

Pilgrim's CEO Bill Lovette said: “Following our successful acquisitions of GNP and the assets in Mexico, Moy Park represents a logical next step in the evolution of our geographical and brands footprint.

“The acquisition gives us access to the attractive UK and European markets, which advances our strategy of diversifying our portfolio to be more global while reducing volatility across our businesses.”

Upon its acquisition, Moy Park will retain its Craigavon headquarters in Northern Ireland and its existing management team will continue to lead it. The employee base of the company will not be affected by the acquisition which will see Moy Park operate as a business unit within Pilgrim's.

Moy Park CEO Janet McCollum said: “Pilgrim's is one of the leading chicken producers in the world with a proven track record and we see great opportunities for Moy Park as part of this successful business.

“Joining Pilgrim's gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans, share best practices and leverage Pilgrim's expertise and operational excellence.”

A special committee of the board of directors in Pilgrim's has approved the transaction unanimously. From the JBS side as well, the transaction has been approved by its board of directors.


Image: Moy Park’s ‘Good Kitchen’ product range. Photo: courtesy of Moy Park.