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JBS Plant

 

20th June, 2016

Meatpacker JBS today unveiled a R$6 billion (US$1.8 billion) divestment plan, putting dairy, poultry and cattle feeding assets on the block to cut debt after a corruption scandal raised concerns about its financing costs.

JBS, whose controlling shareholder J&F Investimentos recently agreed to pay a massive leniency fine after becoming embroiled in sweeping graft probes that have ensnared politicians and executives, said in a securities filing that its board and state development bank BNDES still had to approve the planned asset sales.

The plan, which aims to raise R$6 billion (US$1.8 billion), includes a 19.2% stake in Brazil-based dairy company Vigor Alimentos, along with its Northern Ireland unit Moy Park and Five Rivers Cattle Feeding in North America. Five Rivers has a combined feeding capacity of more than 980,000 head of cattle and locations in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and Idaho, according to its website. Five Rivers also manages a 75,000-head capacity feedyard in the Canadian province of Alberta.

U.S. feeder cattle futures fell to nearly a two-month low of US 140.775 cents per pound after the JBS announcement, before rebounding to trade down 1.625 cents at 143.175 cents. JBS shares were down 3.46% at R$6.13 in early afternoon trading in São Paulo. Traders said some investors were paring bets that JBS would have to sell larger slaughter operations, which would have been far more disruptive than selling its feed operations. "Originally, we were unsure if they would have to close a plant or something like that. This is just divesting itself from a feeding unit that someone else could buy and operate," said David Hales, a U.S. cattle analyst.

MOY PARK UP FOR SALE

Moy Park is one of Britain's top 10 food companies, with 13 processing and manufacturing units in Northern Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands and Ireland. The company supplies 25% of chicken consumed in Western Europe, according to its website. Moy Park also has brands of ready-to-eat meals, breaded and frozen foods and desserts. JBS acquired Moy Park from Brazilian rival Marfrig two years ago for US$1.5 billion.

Reuters reported last week that two investment banks empowered to handle a sale of Vigor have contacted French dairy producers Danone and Groupe Lactalis, Mexico's Grupo Lala SAB de CV and Switzerland's Emmi to analyze the business. JBS has a minority state in Vigor, which is majority-controlled by JBS' parent, J&F Investimentos.

Source: Reuters

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