Moy Park bought by US food firm for £1bn

Northern Ireland’s biggest food production company Moy Park has been bought by a US based food giant.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, which supplies Kentucky Fried Chicken, announced the acquisition on Monday, valuing the company at £1 billion.

Moy Park is currently owned by embattled Brazilian meat processor JBS SA, which is also a major shareholder of Pilgrim’s Pride.

The deal follows an announcement by JBS in June this year that it was putting Moy Park up for sale just two years after purchasing it from another Brazilian meat processor, Marfrig.

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Moy Park, which will position Pilgrim’s to become a global player, with an improved and more stable margin profile on the chicken business and an expanded portfolio of prepared foods,” said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s chief executive officer.

“Following our successful acquisitions of GNP and the assets in Mexico, Moy Park represents a logical next step in the evolution of our geographical and brands footprint.

“The acquisition gives us access to the attractive UK and European markets, which advances our strategy of diversifying our portfolio to be more global while reducing volatility across our businesses.

“We will have new business opportunities through the addition of Moy Park’s fully integrated poultry production platform and its strong presence in prepared foods. Moy Park strengthens Pilgrim’s’ leading portfolio of brands and brings strong value-added innovation capabilities, access to new markets, a best-in-class production platform and strong farmer partner relationships. In addition, Moy Park shares Pilgrim’s long-standing commitment to become the best and most respected company in our industry.”

Janet McCollum, chief executive of Moy Park, said: “This announcement is a positive development for Moy Park and all our colleagues employed across the business.

“Pilgrim’s is one of the leading chicken producers in the world with a proven track record and we see great opportunities for Moy Park as part of this successful business. Joining Pilgrim’s gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans, share best practices and leverage Pilgrim’s expertise and operational excellence.

“Moy Park will provide Pilgrim’s with a platform for growth in Europe as well as access to innovation and increased exposure to prepared foods. Both Moy Park and Pilgrim’s have a long heritage in agriculture and poultry production going back over 70 years and we share the same values.

“We look forward to this new and exciting phase of Moy Park’s development as we continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers and consumers, providing fresh, locally-sourced poultry and top quality, innovative products.”

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