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JBS suspends beef operations in Brazil

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Tax dispute leads to a $230 million asset freeze.

A court in Brazil has ordered a freeze on a combined 730 million reals ($230.64 million) worth of assets of JBS S.A., causing the company to temporarily suspend its beef operations in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The court’s action was in response to a tax dispute between the state and JBS, along with its holding company J&F Investimentos.

“Given a recent legal action taken against the company in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, JBS has temporarily suspended beef operations in that state,” a company spokesman told Feedstuffs.

The spokesman said while JBS does not believe the legal action is warranted, the temporary suspension of operations is “the most prudent course of action to protect the interest of shareholders and suppliers until the matter is settled.”

“No other JBS operations are impacted,” the spokesman added.

JBS told Reuters that it while it is working to restore the operations and maintain 15,000 direct and 60,000 indirect jobs within the state, it will continue paying employees normally.

Earlier this week, the company announced that it was putting plans on hold to register JBS Foods International B.V. as a U.S. initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. However, the company told Feedstuffs that the withdrawal did not “preclude the company or any of its affiliates from seeking a listing in the U.S. at a later date.”

The JBS spokesman said, “The company remains of the view that a listing in the U.S. is the right path forward to maximize value for all stakeholders.”

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