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Tyson Foods to acquire BRF operations in Thailand, Europe

Acquisition supports Tyson's valued-added and international growth strategies.

Tyson Foods Inc. announced Feb. 6 a definitive agreement to acquire the operations of BRF S.A. in Thailand and Europe.

Tyson said the $340 million purchase includes four processing facilities in Thailand, one processing facility in the Netherlands and one processing facility in the U.K. This deal builds on Tyson’s growth strategy to expand offerings of value-added protein in global markets, according to the announcement.

“As noted when we acquired Keystone Foods on Nov. 30, we believe some of our biggest growth opportunities are in value-added foods and international markets,” Tyson president and chief executive officer Noel White said. “In addition to domestic benefits, the Keystone acquisition provided us with a scalable production platform in the Asian poultry market. The acquisition of these BRF facilities will help complement and strengthen our presence in Thailand and provide new capabilities in Europe, enhancing our ability to serve growing global demand for value-added protein.”

The vertically integrated poultry operations in Thailand include a feed mill, hatchery, breeder farms and contract growing operations that supply live birds for the four poultry processing facilities, Tyson said. These four plants produce a wide range of fresh and frozen, value-added raw and fully cooked poultry products, including highly specialized cuts for retail and foodservice customers throughout Asia and other export markets, such as Europe.

The processing locations in the Netherlands and the U.K. are supported by in-house innovation capabilities for developing further-processed chicken products for retail and foodservice customers throughout Europe, Tyson reported.

“It’s estimated that approximately 90% of global protein consumption growth will occur outside the U.S., with 60% of the volume growth coming from Asia over the next five years,” said Donnie King, group president of International for Tyson. “Increasing our international footprint with in-country operations and export capabilities will help Tyson Foods strategically access new markets and better serve the growing global demand for our value-added protein.”

Additional terms of the deal are not being disclosed. The transaction is expected to close before the end of Tyson’s fiscal third quarter. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

BRF explained that, with the sale, it effectively concluded its asset divestment program that was part of a plan to monetize assets announced last June.

“The conclusion of the divestments ensures BRF’s continued deleveraging, which is our main financial priority,” BRF global chief operating officer Lorival Luz said. “We also have a solid cash position that, combined with the refinancing operations and the new loans already signed, fully covers all of the liabilities coming due in 2019.”

In addition to the cash proceeds generated, BRF said the divestments bring it other positive impacts, such as the elimination of loss-producing operations, a stronger focus from management, an asset base better aligned with the operation’s current conditions and a reduction in the depreciation account.

Furthermore, BRF said the conclusion of the monetization plan will strengthen its focus on managing its businesses in markets such as Brazil and the Middle East, which were defined as priorities in the strategic planning for the next five years.

BRF is one of the largest food companies in the world, with more than 30 brands in its portfolio, including Sadia, Perdigão, Qualy, Paty, Dánica, Bocatti and Vienissima. Its products are marketed in more than 150 countries. The company has more than 100,000 employees and maintains more than 50 facilities in eight countries: Argentina, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Malaysia, the U.K., Thailand and Turkey.

Tyson is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products. Headquartered in Springdale, Ark., Tyson had 121,000 team members as of Sept. 29, 2018.

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