JBS, the world’s largest protein company and second-largest food producer, has finalised a deal to purchase Europe’s third-largest plant-based food manufacturer, Vivera.
The €341 million purchase includes three manufacturing facilities and a research and development centre in The Netherlands.
Vivera produces a range of plant-based meat replacement products for major retailers in more than 25 countries across Europe, with large market share in The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. In the UK, its brands are stocked in outlets including ASDA, TESCO, Waitrose Ocado and Sainsbury’s. In total, the company supplies more than 27,000 European supermarkets.
JBS in 2019 joined fellow meat industry giants Cargill and Tyson with its first investment in the plant-based meat sector, via its purchase of Planterra Foods. The company’s Seara value-added division has since added other plant-based product lines including refrigerated burgers, ground meat, and meatballs under the OZO and Incrivel brands.
The acquisition of Vivera strengthened and boosted JBS’s global plant-based products platform, the company said in a statement.
“The Vivera acquisition is aligned with JBS’s strategy to expand its portfolio of value-added and branded products and strengthens its global plant-based food platform, in addition to incorporating technical knowledge and innovation capacity,” it said.
“Strong growth is expected in this category throughout global markets. The deal will add a brand to JBS’s portfolio that is well-established in consumer preference, strengthening the Company’s focus on value-added products.”
“This acquisition is an important step to strengthen our global plant-based protein platform,” said JBS global chief executive Gilberto Tomazoni.
“Vivera will give JBS a stronghold in the plant-based sector, with technological knowledge and capacity for innovation.”
JBS plans to manage Vivera as a stand-alone business unit with its current leadership team to remain in place.
“Joining forces with JBS gives us access to significant resources and capabilities to accelerate our current strong growth trajectory and brand expansion,” Vivera’s chief executive Willem van Weede said.
Vivera has been a pioneer in the development of vegetarian and plant-based meal components since 1990. The company is only active in the vegetable products market and says its mission is to “stimulate the consumption of vegetable proteins.”
The deal was approved this week by JBS’s board of directors and will be concluded after approval by the antitrust authorities.