AUSTRALIA, Canberra. Australia's largest meat processor, JBS-Foods Group, is now planning to enter the pork business in a big way through a corporate acquisition.
The company said it will acquire Australia's largest integrated pork producer Rivalea for A$175 million (€ 111 mill.) from previous owner Singaporean QAF Ltd. The deal, however, must still be approved by Australian competition authorities. Rivelea owns a network of about two dozen fattening barns as well as several breeding operations, including a facility in Wimmera, Victoria, with about 40,000 breeding sows. In addition to 7,600 hectares of farmland, the company also owns two abattoirs, which together slaughter and process about 1.4 million pigs annually and have a national and international pork distribution network.
JBS previously operated only Primo in Australia, the leading producer of mainly pork-based sausages, as well as ham, bacon and bacon, with an annual production of around 130,000 t. Together with Rivelea, the international meat giant, which is already the largest producer of beef and sheep meat in Australia, would account for around one-third of Australian pork production in the future. "We intend to increase the use of indigenous pork in JBS Australia's operations, particularly in our Primo business, through further value addition and processing, while also developing new opportunities for Australian pork in international export markets," Australia's JBS CEO Brent Eastwood said.
Investment is to be made in Rivelea, he said. For the president of the Pig Producers Association of Victoria, Tim Kingma, the acquisition is a significant development for the industry. He said he hopes it will put more Australian pork on supermarket shelves as a processed product. "If JBS, with its strength in the global market, also increased exports, that would be another plus for our industry," Kingma said. Regarding JBS' increasing market power and reduced competition, he said he was not concerned.