GREELEY, COLO. — JBS Food Canada, Inc., a subsidiary of JBS USA, has agreed to acquire certain Canadian operations of XL Foods. The transaction is expected to be completed on Jan. 14.
JBS Food Canada will take ownership of the XL Lakeside beef processing plant in Brooks, Alta., as well as additional assets. The Brooks plant has the capacity to process 4,000 head of cattle per day and is one of the largest employers in southern Alberta. The transaction also includes a beef packing plant in Calgary, a feedlot in Brooks, and the adjacent farmland acreage supporting the feedlot operation.
In October, JBS first announced it had entered an agreement to manage operations of XL Foods’ Lakeside beef plant, and as a part of the agreement JBS had the option to purchase the Canadian and U.S. operations of XL Foods.
“Today JBS officially enters the Canadian beef market through our acquisition of the XL Lakeside beef packing plant,” said Bill Rupp, president and chief operating officer of JBS USA Beef. “After several months of careful consideration of the option and nearly three months of successfully managing the Lakeside facility, we have determined the Canadian operations will serve as an important asset to our strategic global production model. We look forward to partnering with Canadian producers to deliver quality Canadian beef to customers around the world.”
JBS is still considering its option to acquire U.S. operations of XL Foods and is waiting for regulatory review from U.S. authorities.The acquisition comes as products manufactured at the Brooks facility were found to be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and reached the market this past fall. The plant temporarily had its license to operate suspended at the end of September and resumed processing in October under more inspection and with no products allowed to enter the marketplace. Pressure from the incident caused the company to lay off 2,000 employees.