SÃO PAULO –JBS SA recently announced that it is adding to its portfolio in the Middle East and North Africa.  

The Brazilian meat company stated that it bought two plants in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) specialized in prepared food production. 

Additionally, JBS plans to start its distribution network for the region and establish products in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. The company said it wants to expand its presence in the Halal market.  

The company did not share the value of any of the acquisitions.

“JBS already has a strong commercial presence in the Middle East through exports, but we have decided to strengthen our position with a robust local operation,” said Wesley Batista Filho, JBS global president of operations in Latin America and Oceania.

Along with adding the plants, JBS also named Mohamed Mahrous as chief executive officer for the region. According to the company, Mahrous brings more than 30 years of experience and has led food companies in the region. 

“JBS has a complete portfolio of quality products and can become a leader in the region, focusing on consumer trends and new habits, while advancing the vision for MENA as a hub for Halal products to the entire world,” Mahrous said.

With the acquisitions in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, JBS said its plan is to increase total sales in the region over the next five years. 

 “The repositioning of the brand will also include changes in the layout of the packaging, an increase in the diversification of the products offered in the premium, mainstream and plant-based lines, in addition to the brand’s entry into different sales channels and digital platforms.” Mahrous said.