The Brazilian meat packing business JBS is to sell the UK integrated chicken operation Moy Park after just two years.
The proposed divestment of the Northern Ireland-based company is part of a sale of “non-core and strategic assets” following an investigation into financial corruption at JBS by the Brazilian authorities that has culminated in a Real$10.3 billion fine being levied on J&F Investimentos, the holding company behind JBS. J&F also has to settle a reported R$14bn of debt in the next year.
JBS directors estimate that the sale of Moy Park, a 20% share of the Brazilian dairy business Vigor and the Five Rivers Cattle Feeding operation across the US mid-west will raise around R$6bn. It has already made R$1bn through selling assets in South America.
“The divestment program will reduce the company’s net debt and, consequently, its financial leverage, strengthening JBS’ financial structure,” says a company statement.
JBS bought Moy Park in June 2015 from Marfrig Global Foods for around $1.5bn – $1.19bn in cash plus £200 million of Moy Park debt. Marfrig, also based in Brazil, had in turn purchased Moy Park from the US’s OSI Group in 2008.