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Pilgrim’s Pride expanding prepared foods, branded products platform

PeopleImages/iStock/Getty Images handshake over business deal
Company acquiring Kerry Consumers Foods for approximately $952 million.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, a subsidiary of JBS, recently announced that it has executed an acquisition agreement to acquire the Meats and Meals business of Kerry Consumer Foods in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Following the acquisition, Pilgrim’s will be a leading food company, with a significant value-added protein and integrated prepared foods business anchored by a portfolio of strong brands.

The acquisition, which was unanimously approved by Pilgrim’s Board of Directors, values the acquired businesses at an approximated $952 million (£680 million) enterprise value. The purchase amount represents an 8.5x multiple on implied expected standalone EBITDA for 2021.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to position Pilgrim’s as a leading prepared foods and branded products player through the acquisition of Kerry Consumer Foods’ Meats and Meals business,” said Fabio Sandri, chief executive officer of Pilgrim’s. “The transaction enhances our value-added portfolio by adding market-leading brands such as Denny, Richmond and Fridge Raiders, which we expect to deliver a higher and more stable margin profile.”

He continued, “We look forward to welcoming Kerry Consumer Foods’ Meats and Meals business’ talented management team and other team members, led by Nick Robinson, to the Pilgrim’s family, and we look forward to working together to drive growth and deliver value for all of our stakeholders.”

Kerry Meats is a leading manufacturer of branded and private label meats, meat snacks and food-to-go products in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Kerry Meals is a leading ethnic chilled and frozen ready meals business in the United Kingdom. The combined businesses produced over £725 million in annual sales during the year ended December 31, 2020 and have more than 4,500 team members. The Kerry team also has a proven track record of innovation with the successful launch of its branded meat-free products.

“Pilgrim’s has agreed to acquire a leader in convenience foods solutions that sells into a wide breadth of channels and customers, a portfolio of innovative and market-leading brands, and a strong team of dedicated people,” said Nick Robinson, Kerry Consumer Foods’ Chief Executive Officer. “Our companies share a rich heritage in food production with aligned values that put people and customers at the heart of all we do. We look forward to working with our new colleagues to build upon the fantastic progress of these businesses and realize our combined growth opportunities as we enter an exciting new phase.”

Sandri said Pilgrim’s is already strongly positioned within the global protein market, “and this complementary acquisition provides further breadth into the prepared and branded products segment.”

“The inclusion of the Kerry Consumer Foods’ Meats and Meals business follows our strategy of a well-balanced portfolio of products, geographies and customer base. We believe that the acquisition will also enable the company to develop new and innovative products through the businesses’ combined expertise to support our key customers’ growth objectives.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 and is subject to routine closing purchase price adjustments (including working capital and net debt adjustments), customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

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