Major Chinese buyer circling Moy Park in €1bn sale by Brazilian owner JBS
Irish poultry giant Moy Park may attract the interest of a large Chinese buyer after being put up for sale by its Brazilian owner JBS.
The Chinese group WH, which controls the American company Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, has been tipped as a suitor for the business in the Brazilian media.
Chinese investor relations director Luis Chein recently told Reuters that the group's expansion targets are in Europe and the US, with plans to expand in the beef and chicken markets.
Other companies believed to be interested in the business include US-based Tyson Foods and Brazilian company BRF.
The company will seek over €1bn for the business, with sources stating that the scale of the business would limit the potential for a European trade buyer.
Moy Park, which is Northern Ireland's largest private employer, may also appeal to private-equity buyers.
Sources said that CapVest, the private-equity vehicle headed by Cavan man Seamus Fitzpatrick, could be among the interested parties
If a buyer is not found, JBS could consider an IPO for the company, a plan which had been strongly considered by Moy Park's previous owner, food business Marfig. Based in Craigavon, Co Armagh, Moy Park employs 6,300 people in Northern Ireland and a total of 12,000, including at operations in the Republic and elsewhere in Europe.