JBS SA, Brazil’s Friboi meat brand, are buying Swift & Co in an all-cash transaction worth $1.4 billion. In essence this means that Latin America’s largest beef processor have agreed to acquire America’s third or fourth biggest beef and pork processor, creating the biggest worldwide meatpacking firm.

‘Joining J&F to become the world’s largest beef and pork processor, Swift should emerge even stronger and that is good news for our partnership customers, our suppliers and our employees’, Swift president and CEO Sam Rovit said.

Meanwhile, the merger provides JBS access to prime Asian markets such as Japan and South Korea, which have banned Brazilian products over fears of foot and mouth disease. This will be done through Swift’s US and Australian holdings.

‘It is a major step for our group in establishing a global presence’, said Joesley Mendonca Batista, partner of J&F and CEO of JBS. ‘More importantly, Swift will provide us with access to the Pacific region.’ Friboi are the largest packing company in South America owning over twenty facilities in Brazil and several in Argentina. The deal is subject to antitrust reviews.