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Published: Thu, June 22, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

JBS to sell Moy Park, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding

JBS to sell Moy Park, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding

JBS said on acquiring Moy Park that the deal represented an "important step" in a strategy of expansion in prepared and convenience foods, besides boosting the group's "geographic diversification".

"The divestment program is meant to further sharpen the focus of the business on key strategic areas, protect core assets and allow the Company to reduce net debt as it works on plans for future growth", stated JBS S.A.in a release on the matter.

One of Northern Ireland's largest firms, Moy Park, has been put up for sale by owner JBS, as concerns mounted over funding options in the wake of Brazil's political corruption scandal.

The JBS S.A. Board of Directors reviewed and approved a proposal to commence a divestiture process for certain assets.

"Moy Park is a successful and growing food business with a solid financial standing", said Moy Park CEO Janet McCollum.

"We definitely are going to leverage to use the Moy Park knowledge in terms of innovation to launch some products in the United States market and as well is in the Brazilian market", he told investors.

Mr McKeever said the announcement of the sale cast a shadow at a time when the the firm already faced "extensive uncertainties" as a result of Brexit.

"I have no doubt that our success is due to the great strengths of this business - our exceptional people, innovation and performance".

"We would be very concerned that this announced sale, coming within a year of its previous acquisition by JBS, may open the door to venture capitalists".

The plan also involves selling the company's 19.2 per cent shareholding in Vigor Alimentos S.A and the Five Rivers Cattle Feeding assets and farms.

JBS said an orderly sales process will be conducted to ensure business continuity.

Moy Park, based in Craigavon, employs 6,300 people in Northern Ireland and a total of 12,000, including its operations in Europe.

The announcement today is part of a larger divestment plan that the company hopes will raise $1.8 billion to cut debt and reduce leverage, Reuters reported.

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