— The Brazilian owners of Irish poultry giant Moy Park have put the company up for sale in a bid to drive down debt in the wake of the meat and corruption scandal which has cost the world’s largest meat processor dearly.
Employing thousands of people in Northern Ireland and across European operations, Moy Park was bought by JBS in a deal worth US$1.5 billion in 2015.
JBS has been rocked by the Brazilian meat and corruption scandal involving the country’s politicians and top executives, and in May the controlling shareholders of the São Paulo-based meat-packing company agreed to pay a record US$3.2 billion for its role in the scandal.
Now the company is planning to sell assets worth US$1.8 billion – and this includes Moy Park.
A statement from Moy Park chief executive Janet McCollum sent to FoodIngredientsFirst confirms the JBS divestment, but remains upbeat about the future for Moy Park.
It says: “JBS S.A. has announced a program of divestment focused on strengthening its financial position through net debt reduction. The assets currently under consideration for sale include the Moy Park business.”
“Moy Park is a successful and growing food business with a solid financial standing. I have no doubt that our success is due to the great strengths of this business – our exceptional people, innovation and performance. I also know that this will ensure our continued growth and stability well into the future.”
“Our priority remains business as usual – delivering outstanding quality, innovation and service to our customers and consumers.”
JBS is selling off other assets including a 19.2% stake in Brazilian company Vigor Alimentos SA and Five Rivers Cattle Feeding in North America, but its Moy Park that represents its biggest divestment.
Moy Park is considered one of Britain’s top 10 food companies, supplying around 25% of chicken consumed in western Europe and has manufacturing and processing facilities in Northern Ireland, Ireland, England, France and the Netherlands.
By Gaynor Selby
Source: Food Ingredients First
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