JBS USA to acquire Cargill pork business

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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GREELEY, Colo. – JBS USA Pork, a unit of Sao Paulo, Brazil-based JBS SA, has agreed to acquire Cargill’s US-based pork business for $1.45 billion. The agreement is subject to regulatory review and approval.

The acquisition includes two Midwest meat processing plants, one in Ottumwa, Iowa and the other based in Beardstown, Ill. Cargill acquired both plants in 1987. In 2014 the plants processed a combined 9.3 million hogs. If approved JBS also will own five feed mills (two in Missouri, and one each in Arkansas, Iowa and Texas), and four hog farms (two in Arkansas and one each in Oklahoma and Texas).

“This operation is in line with JBS’ strategy to grow its portfolio of prepared and value-added products, expanding the company’s customer base both in the domestic market and internationally,” according to a press release issued by JBS.

“The strengths of the JBS and Cargill pork businesses are complementary,” said Todd Hall, Cargill senior vice president. “Together, they promise to offer enhanced service to customers and more opportunities for employees and hog producers while providing an important source of protein to consumers around the world.”

Hall added that “The professional and focused manner in which JBS approached Cargill demonstrated to us that they place a great deal of value on growing this part of their company to better compete in the marketplace and are willing to invest in its future. JBS is acquiring a business with excellent people and fixed assets, and an established track record of success.”

JBS USA Pork has the daily capacity to process more than 50,000 hogs at facilities in Marshalltown, Iowa; Worthington, Minn.; and Louisville, Ky. The unit of JBS SA employs more than 6,000 workers. Martin Dooley, president and COO of JBS USA Pork, said the acquisition is an investment in the long-term growth of the company’s domestic and global pork business.

“This transaction will strengthen our position as a producer and supplier of all major animal proteins around the world, and provide increased opportunities for our producer partners and key customers,” Dooley said. “The strength and success of Cargill’s pork team and hog suppliers, as well as its industry leadership in areas such as animal welfare, exports, bacon production and innovation, were significant and compelling factors that led us to pursue this acquisition and enhance our ability to serve our diverse, global customer base.”
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