Already re-ranked this year as the world’s biggest producer of both chicken meat and beef, JBS on Monday announced further expansion plans in chicken meat production in South America.
The market was told JBS SA has signed an agreement to purchase the assets of Agroveneto, another large Brazilian poultry processor. The deal is worth R$128 million (about A$60m), including some debt assumption. The purchase is subject to approval by the relevant Brazilian authorities.
Agroveneto is a specialist chicken product manufacturer operating out of the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina.
The company’s single plant has capacity to process 140,000 birds per day. It sells a range of more than 30 different products both domestically and into the international markets ranging from chilled and frozen cuts, spiced and breaded products as well as a line of Individually Quick Frozen (IQF) products. Exports are mainly to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
The acquisition of Agroveneto complemented JBS’s operations in the chicken segment in Brazil, a company statement said.
The new production unit will be incorporated into JBS Aves which now encompasses four production facilities in this sector in Brazil with a daily capacity to process 1.34 million birds.
Just three years after JBS acquired the US Pilgrim’s Pride chicken business for US$2.8 billion, the Brazilian company in August became the biggest poultry producer in the world. It assumed the number one global producer mantle when it took over the lease on the Doux Frangosul Farms business in Brazil.
That business has now reached its maximum production capacity, lifting JBS’s daily global chicken slaughtering to 8.5 million birds, slightly above the 8.4 million processed by North America’s Tyson Foods.
Chicken was already an R$18 billion business for JBS, chief executive Wesley Batista told the market recently. In the past three years, the company’s poultry operations had grown to represent 25pc of the company’s turnover, with plans to grow to 40pc within five years.