Brazilian meatpacker JBS has announced plans to acquire Spanish company BioTech Foods, while also creating a new research and development centre in Brazil for lab meat.
The move forms part of a broader push into the fast-growing sector by JBS.
'In total, JBS will invest US$100 million towards the two initiatives, which are aligned to JBS´s strategy of expanding its platform of new forms of protein production, as a reflection of new consumption trends and population growth in the coming decades,' it said.
Scale Up Production
It added the Spanish deal would include $41 million assigned to building a new plant there to scale up production, and the accord was still reliant on regulatory approval.
Founded in 2017, BioTech Foods operates a pilot plant in the Spanish city of San Sebastián, and is expected to reach commercial production by mid-2024.
The company boasts technology not only for the production of beef protein, but also for chicken, pork and fish.
Under the terms of the transaction, JBS shall become the majority shareholder of BioTech Foods.
The closing of this transaction is subject to approval from Spain’s foreign direct investment authorities, as well as other related bodies.
JBS, which recently recorded the strongest quarter in its history, plans to inaugurate its Cultivated Protein Research Center in Brazil in 2022, at which it 'intends to develop new techniques that accelerate scale gains and reduce the production costs of the cultivated protein, anticipating its commercialisation in the market'.