JBS USA, which assumed management of the XL Foods cattle plant in Brooks, Alb., in October after the facility was closed during an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7, has named William Van Solkema as JBS Canada president.
JBS has an option to buy the plant and affiliated operations and plants elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. (Feedstuffs, Oct. 22), and reports said naming a president for the Canadian properties indicates that the company is nearing that option. JBS said it would pay $50 million in cash and $50 million in JBS S.A. stock in an acquisition.
Solkema is the former manager of operations and sales for the Brooks plant and has most recently been a consultant for XL Fine Foods, the company's value-added processing business.
JBS USA, the U.S. subsidiary of JBS S.A., is the third-largest beef and pork processor and second-largest chicken producer in the U.S. The acquisition would make it the largest beef concern in North America by capacity.
JBS S.A. is the largest beef processor and leather manufacturer in Brazil and the largest beef exporter in the world.