Brazilian agri-giant JBS SA, the largest meat processor in the world, has announced its purchase of Northern Ireland poultry integrator Moy Park is complete.
JBS has notified investors it had paid just short of £800m to previous owner Marfrig, and assumed £193m of Moy Park debt.
The company said a major motivation behind the purchase was access to markets and customers Moy Park has developed in the UK and wider Europe – and that it hopes to use these links to grow exports.
5 million chickens per week
Janet McCollum, Moy Park's chief executive, said it would be "very much business as usual" for the company, which employs 6,400 people in Northern Ireland and 5,400 across the rest of the UK. It processes up to five million chickens each week, selling fresh poultry to retailers and food service sectors, as well as manufacturing added-value products.
"This is an exciting new phase in Moy Park's development," added McCollum. "Moy Park and JBS share common values and goals with a focus on our customers, delivering high quality, innovative products underpinned by agricultural and operational excellence."
EC approves sale
Last week the European Commission approved the sale, paving the way for its completion.
Wesley Batista, Global CEO of JBS, said: "This transaction is in line with our global strategy in expanding our portfolio of prepared and convenient food products. In addition, we see potential to expand our customer base in Europe, with a vertically integrated production, with innovation and strong brands."