Pilgrim's Pride, the second-largest US chicken producer, has announced that it is acquiring UK poultry company Moy Park for $1.3 billion (approximately £1 billion).
The business was put up for sale in June by Brazilian meat-packing company JBS, only two years after it had been acquired for approximately €1.3 billion.
“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Moy Park, which will position Pilgrim's to become a global player, with an improved and more stable margin profile on the chicken business and an expanded portfolio of prepared foods,” said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s CEO.
"The acquisition gives us access to the attractive UK and European markets, which advances our strategy of diversifying our portfolio to be more global, while reducing volatility across our businesses," Lovette continued.
Moy Park is one of the leading poultry producers in Europe, employing more than 9,000 people in Northern Ireland.
Since the sale of the group was announced, several companies have been tipped as potential buyers, including Chinese groups New Hope and WH, along with US-based Tyson Foods, Brazil's BRF, and private-equity firm CapVest.
Under the new deal with Pilgrim's, Moy Park will remain headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, while chief executive Janet McCollum will continue to lead the business with the rest of the management team.
“This announcement is a positive development for Moy Park and all our colleagues employed across the business," said McCollum.
"Joining Pilgrim’s gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans, share best practices, and leverage Pilgrim’s expertise and operational excellence. Moy Park will provide Pilgrim’s with a platform for growth in Europe, as well as access to innovation and increased exposure to prepared foods."
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Sarah Harford. Click subscribe to sign up for ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.