WASHINGTON, July 2, 2014 – JBS USA Pork will purchase Cargill’s U.S.-based pork assets in a $1.45 billion agreement, the companies said in a joint release.
Included in JBS’ acquisition of Cargill’s pork business are two Midwest meat processing plants, one in Ottumwa, Iowa, and the other at Beardstown, Illinois. Cargill acquired both plants in 1987, and in 2014 they processed a total of 9.3 million hogs. The purchase also includes five feed mills (two in Missouri, and one each in Arkansas, Iowa and Texas), and four hog farms (two in Arkansas and one each in Oklahoma and Texas). The deal is still subject to regulatory review and approval.
JBS USA is the North American arm of Brazil-based JBS S.A., the largest meat processing company in the world. JBS acquired beef and pork processor Swift & Co. in 2007 and Smithfield Foods’ beef business a year later. It also is the majority owner of poultry producer Pilgrim’s Pride.
In a statement, Martin Dooley, president and COO of JBS USA Pork, called the move a “strategic investment” that demonstrates JBS’ “continued commitment to the U.S. livestock sector.”
“This transaction will strengthen our position as a producer and supplier of all major animal proteins around the world, and provide increased opportunities for our producer partners and key customers,” Dooley said. “The strength and success of Cargill’s pork team and hog suppliers, as well as its industry leadership in areas such as animal welfare, exports, bacon production and innovation, were significant and compelling factors that led us to pursue this acquisition and enhance our ability to serve our diverse, global customer base.”
Cargill Senior Vice President Todd Hall said Cargill and JBS have complementary strengths that will serve the industry well.
“The professional and focused manner in which JBS approached Cargill demonstrated to us that they place a great deal of value on growing this part of their company to better compete in the marketplace and are willing to invest in its future,” Hall said. “JBS is acquiring a business with excellent people and fixed assets, and an established track record of success.”
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