Dunbia has moved to debunk rumours about a takeover by JBS.
The Belfast Telegraph reported on Monday 25 January that Dunbia could be acquired by the Brazilian meat giant, which bought Moy Park and Cargill Pork in 2015. Dunbia, though, has remained tight-lipped on the issue, despite confirming in December that it was considering offers for the business.
“There is no news about JBS,” a Dunbia spokesperson said. “We do not have any information about who might be interested in investing at the minute. As far as I’m concerned, and as far as Dunbia is concerned, that [Belfast Telegraph report] is pure speculation.”
The spokesperson described JBS as “a major player in the meat industry” and said that “quite a few people have thought from the start: ‘Oh, maybe JBS [will buy Dunbia]’.”
Recently, the processor exported its first load of pork to India, after a trade agreement was reached between the UK and India.
“This shipment represents a significant opportunity for Dunbia and our pig farmers and is the beginning of what we hope will be a long and profitable relationship with India, which is one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world,” said Dunbia CEO Jim Dobson.
“In addition to India, Canada has also been secured for beef exports, while Dunbia has recently received provisional approval for exports to China,” Dobson added.
More shipments to India are expected to leave the company’s Ballymena meat plant in the coming months, although official figures on tonnage and cost have not been made public.
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