Biggest cattle feeding operation in the US up for sale (980,000 head of cattle)
Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA revealed plans to sell assets worth $1.8 billion on Tuesday, putting dairy, poultry and cattle feeding units on the block to cut debt after a corruption scandal raised concerns about its financing costs.
JBS, whose controlling shareholder 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 sales, which aim to raise 6 billion reais ($1.8 billion), include a 19.2 percent stake in Brazil-based dairy company Vigor Alimentos SA, along with its Northern Ireland unit Moy Park Ltd and Five Rivers Cattle Feeding in North America.
The largest asset on the block is Moy Park, which JBS bought from Brazilian rival Marfrig Global Foods SA two years ago for $1.5 billion.
Moy Park supplies 25 percent of chicken consumed in western Europe, according to its website. It is one of Britain's top 10 food companies, with 13 processing and manufacturing units in Northern Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands and Ireland.
Five Rivers, the biggest U.S. cattle feeding operation, has a combined capacity of more than 980,000 head of cattle and locations in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and Idaho, according to its website. It handles nearly 10 percent of cattle placed annually on U.S. feedlots, according to the Livestock Marketing Information Center.
Five Rivers also manages a 75,000-head capacity feedyard in the Canadian province of Alberta.
Just two weeks ago, JBS said core U.S. assets were not for sale.