BRAZIL, Sao Paulo. JBS will enter the aquaculture sector with its acquisition of Australian salmon producer Huon Aquaculture Group in a deal valued at $ 312.9 mill.
JBS announced an agreement to acquire 100% of Huon Aquaculture, Australia’s second-largest salmon producer and listed on that country’s stock exchange. The deal, with an implied equity value of $ 315 mill. and an enterprise value of $ 403 mill., has already been approved by the controlling shareholders and is expected to be concluded by the end of 2021, with the approval of the other shareholders and the Australian authorities. The acquisition, expected to be completed in late 2021, is subject to regulatory approvals.
Vertically integrated, Huon will mark the beginning of fish production by JBS, which already processes beef cattle, poultry, pigs and lamb in plants around the world. Huon has invested more than AU$ 350 mill. over the last five years in industry leading operational infrastructure and sustainable practices in the salmon production cycle, positioning the company for sustainable growth.
Huon has 13 production sites and three value-added product processing units. Salmon, for example, is sold in fillets and can be found vacuum-packed at retail stores, as well as smoked products or salmon ova.
JBS already operates in Tasmania, with a beef cattle processing unit at Longford. This is the Company’s second acquisition in Australia this year. In April, it purchased Rivalea, leader in pig production. Since 2014, the company has been the owner of Primo Smallgoods, which has a portfolio of strong brands. JBS has been in the country since 2007, when it acquired the operations of Swift.
In March, Seara, in Brazil, announced that it was beginning to distribute products in the fish and seafood segment, with products like salmon, tilapia and shrimp, among others. Now, following the acquisition in Australia, JBS will have its own production. Beside the significant share of the Australian market, 15% of Huon’s production is channeled to exports.
According to the FAO (United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization), in the next ten years the per-capital consumption of fish is slated to grow by 5% globally. In Oceania, this rate should reach 7%, and 15% in China. Global per-capita fish consumption exceeds that of poultry, pork or beef. Per annum, it exceeds 20 kg, according to the FAO. For 1.5 billion people, fish accounts for 20% of average protein consumption, while this figure exceeds more than 15% for 3 billion. According to projections of the FAO and the OECD (the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), already by 2023 aquaculture-produced for human consumption will exceed what is caught from river and sea fishing.