Brazil’s JBS finalises sale of US-based feedlot operations

Brazil’s JBS finalises sale of US-based feedlot operations

16/03/2018 18:23 - Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker that has been engulfed by corruption investigations, announced on Friday it has finalised the sale of Five Rivers Cattle Feeding’s feedlot in the US.

Colorado-based Five Rivers is the largest cattle feeding operation in the world and was sold to affiliates of Pinnacle Asset Management for about $200m.

Following a scandal last year JBS, announced it would offload assets in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, Canada, US, and Brazil to reduce its debt burden.

The company said in a brief statement on Friday that with the sale of Five Rivers US, “JBS concludes a successful implementation of its Divestment Program, which helped to significantly deleverage and improve the Company’s liquidity.”

JBS already sold the Northern Ireland-based Moy Park to Pilgrim’s Pride for an enterprise value of $1.4bn; its 19 per cent stake in dairy company Vigor for an enterprise value of $335m, and beef operations in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay for $300.

The Brazilian company said in January that its leverage ratio had shrunk “significantly” to 3.42 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at the end of 3Q17 from 4.16 times in 2Q17.

Former JBS chairman Joesley Batista and his brother Wesley, the company’s CEO, signed plea bargains last year admitting to massive corruption, including bribing more than 1,800 politicians over several years. The brothers nearly brought down President Michel Temer in May 2018 after Joesley submitted a tape to prosecutors in which he allegedly discussed bribes with the Brazilian leader.

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