Brazil’s JBS Agrees to Buy Rockdale Beef in Australia
March 19, 2010,
(Adds share price in first and fourth paragraphs.)
By Lucia Kassai
March 19 (Bloomberg) -- JBS SA, the world’s biggest beef producer, said it agreed to buy Rockdale Beef Pty Ltd. in Australia, without disclosing how much it would pay. Shares slumped the most in six months.
The takeover still depends on approval by Australian antitrust regulators and Rockdale’s management board, Sao Paulo- based JBS said today in a filing to Brazil’s securities regulator. Japan’s Itoham Foods Inc. and Mitsubishi Corp. control Rockdale, according to the beef producer’s Web site.
JBS controls more than 10 percent of global beef processing after about 30 acquisitions in the past 15 years, including Smithfield Foods Inc.’s beef business in the beginning of 2008. It resumed purchases at the end of last year after the global credit crunch reduced the value of assets, buying Pittsburg, Texas-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Brazil’s Bertin SA and Australian lamb producer Tatiara Meat Co.
JBS slumped 4.1 percent to 7.89 reais at 12:40 p.m. in Sao Paulo trading. Earlier, it fell as much as 4.5 percent, the biggest intraday decline since Sept. 14.
Yanco, Australia-based Rockdale operates a cattle feedlot, a feed plant and a meat slaughter house with capacity to process about 200,000 head a year, JBS said.
JBS, which had plans to sell shares of its U.S. unit in an initial public offering, said Jan. 28 it delayed the sale after market conditions “deteriorated.” It filed March 11 a request to sell an undisclosed number of new shares in Brazil.
Rothschild is assisting in the transaction, JBS said. Vanessa Esteves, a spokeswoman for JBS, declined to comment on the deal.