JBS says Pilgrim’s Pride stake not for sale

Chicago | Reuters — Brazilian meat packer JBS SA’s core U.S. assets, including its majority stake in Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., are not for sale, the company said on Wednesday, a day after announcing a deal to sell Argentine operations.

U.S. chicken company Pilgrim’s Pride is critical to JBS’ long-term strategy of pursuing business opportunities that reduce volatility and enhance margins, JBS said in a statement.

“No core assets at JBS USA, or any other part of the world, are candidates for sale,” the statement said.

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Among JBS USA’s assets are one of Canada’s largest beef packing plants and one of the country’s largest feedlots, both at Brooks, Alta.

The agreement to sell Argentine operations to Minerva SA , announced on Tuesday, was the first by JBS, the world’s largest meat packer, since its founders admitted to paying bribes to Brazilian politicians in exchange for favours in a scandal that threatens to topple President Michel Temer.

The US$300 million transaction, expected to close in July, also involves the sale of JBS plants in Paraguay and Uruguay to Minerva.

Last month, J+F Investimentos, controlling shareholder of JBS, agreed to pay a record-setting 10.3 billion real (C$4.24 billion) fine for its role in corruption scandals.

Reporting for Reuters by Tom Polansek in Chicago.

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