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Pilgrim’s to acquire European prepared foods leader

Transaction creates one of largest integrated prepared foods businesses in U.K.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. announced Aug. 28 that it has signed a contract to acquire Tulip Ltd. -- a leading integrated prepared foods supplier with 12 fresh and value-added operations in the U.K. -- from Danish Crown. The approximately $354 million transaction was unanimously approved by Pilgrim’s board of directors and funded with cash on hand.

According to Pilgrim’s, the transaction solidifies its position as a leading European food company, creating one of the largest integrated prepared foods businesses in the U.K. with a portfolio of brands and retail private-label solutions.

“We are pleased to strengthen our European foods platform with the acquisition of Tulip Ltd., which positions Pilgrim’s as a leading global prepared foods player,” Jayson Penn, Pilgrim’s global chief executive officer, said. “The transaction represents the logical next step in our evolution to expand our geographical footprint, enhance our value-added portfolio and reduce volatility across our business with a more stable margin profile.”

Tulip’s integrated production platform, consumer-ready innovation capabilities, well-invested assets, established customer relationships and strong leadership team will solidify Pilgrim’s platform for growth in the attractive U.K. market, Penn added.

“We welcome the talented Tulip Ltd. team members and management team, led by Andrew Cracknell, to the Pilgrim’s family, and we look forward to working together to drive growth and deliver value for our stakeholders,” he continued.

Cracknell, Tulip CEO, said, “Pilgrim’s is acquiring an industry-leading farming operation, a strong team of dedicated people and a network of well-invested manufacturing sites. Our companies share a rich heritage in agriculture and food production, with aligned values that put people and customers at the heart of all we do.”

Cracknell added that Tulip's "leadership team and I look forward to working with our new colleagues to build upon the fantastic progress made within the business and realize our combined growth opportunities as we enter an exciting new phase.”

Tulip, like Pilgrim’s, has a long heritage in agriculture and protein production. The company is the largest pig producer in the U.K., with nearly £1 billion in annual sales and more than 6,000 team members. Tulip provides a variety of high-quality, innovative products to retail and foodservice customers, utilizing an integrated supply chain with accountability and traceability.

“Pilgrim’s is already strongly positioned within the U.K. chicken market and would like to strengthen its position within the market for pork. On our part, we want to simplify our U.K. business," Jais Valeur, group CEO of Danish Crown, said. "Going forward, we will supply Danish pork to Pilgrim’s, so all in all, the transaction holds out interesting perspectives for both parties.”

Under terms of the agreement, Danish Crown will continue to supply Danish pork to Tulip under a long-term supply agreement, allowing Tulip to continue to provide high-quality products from continental European producers to customers and consumers.

TAGS: Business
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