SAO PAULO: Brazil’s JBS SA agreed on Monday to sell a British poultry unit to U.S. subsidiary Pilgrim’s Pride Corp for $1 billion (759.01 million pounds), preserving revenue in more profitable activities abroad as the world’s biggest meatpacker faces a corruption scandal at home.
In a statement, Pilgrim’s Pride said the purchase of Moy Park, a major supplier of chicken in Western Europe, was negotiated and approved by a special committee comprised of three independent board directors.
Pilgrim’s said the committee “was advised independently and had been granted full authority” over all aspects of the transaction, suggesting the scandal-plagued family controlling the Brazilian meatpacker did not intervene in the decision.
Under the terms of the purchase, which will be funded with cash and debt with parent JBS, Pilgrim’s Pride will keep Moy Park based in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, while retaining Chief Executive Janet McCollum and other senior management.
Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC.O) slumped 3.2 percent to $28.16 a share in Nasdaq trading. Shares in JBS (JBSS3.SA) added 0.9 percent to 8.26 reais.
The deal, which will help JBS make upcoming debt payments, follows a string of asset sales by holding company J&F and controlling shareholders Wesley and Joesley Batista, who are snared in a corruption probe after admitting to bribing 1,893 politicians in Brazil over the past decade.