JBS USA to acquire Cargill's pork business

by Keith Nunes
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The acquisition will solidify the company's position as a leading meat processor in the U.S.

GREELEY, COLO. — JBS USA Pork, a unit of Sao Paulo, Brazil-based JBS S.A., has agreed to acquire Cargill’s U.S.-based pork business for $1.45 billion. The agreement is subject to regulatory review and approval.

The acquisition includes two Midwest meat processing plants, one in Ottumwa, Iowa, and the other based in Beardstown, Ill. Cargill acquired both plants in 1987. In 2014 the plants processed a combined 9.3 million hogs. If approved JBS also will own five feed mills (two in Missouri, and one each in Arkansas, Iowa and Texas), and four hog farms (two in Arkansas and one each in Oklahoma and Texas).

JBS USA Pork has the daily capacity to process more than 50,000 hogs at plants in Marshalltown, Iowa; Worthington, Minn.; and Louisville, Ky. The business unit employs more than 6,000 workers. Martin Dooley, president and chief operating officer of JBS USA Pork, said the acquisition is an investment in the long-term growth of the company’s domestic and global pork business.

“This transaction will strengthen our position as a producer and supplier of all major animal proteins around the world, and provide increased opportunities for our producer partners and key customers,” Mr. Dooley said. “The strength and success of Cargill’s pork team and hog suppliers, as well as its industry leadership in areas such as animal welfare, exports, bacon production and innovation, were significant and compelling factors that led us to pursue this acquisition and enhance our ability to serve our diverse, global customer base.”
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