JBS S.A. appears to have found a buyer for one of the divestments it announced in late June as part of a larger divestment program to raise approximately 6 billion reals ($1.8 billion). JBS announced Aug. 1 that J&F Investimentos S.A. (J&F), its controlling shareholder, is in advanced negotiations with Mexico-based Grupo Lala S.A.B. de C.V. for the sale of its shareholding interest in Brazil-based dairy company Vigor Alimentos S.A.
The other two divestments in the program included selling the shareholding interest in Moy Park and selling Five Rivers Cattle Feeding assets and farms. At the time, JBS said the action was intended to further sharpen the focus of the business on key strategic areas, protect core assets and allow the company to reduce net debt as it works on plans for future growth.
If confirmed, the Vigor transaction would involve JBS selling its 19.43% shareholding interest in the company. The companies said the transaction will be presented to the boards of directors of JBS and Grupo Lala for their approval in meetings scheduled for Aug. 3, 2017.
Founded in 1917, Vigor is a leading company in the Brazilian dairy market focused on value-added products and innovation. It has more than 7,600 employees, 11 milk collection centers, 14 production plants, 31 distribution centers and 67,000 points of sale in Brazil. In addition, it has a wide portfolio of dairy products, including yogurt, cheese and other dairy products.