JBS and National Beef talks

2 February 2009

JBS SA are continuing talks with the US Department of Justice with regard to divesting assets to gain approval to buy National Beef Packing, Wesley Batista, CEO of the company's JBS-Swift unit, said last week.

‘The discussions are about divesting assets, not closing any plants', Reuters quoted Batista as telling reporters on the sidelines of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association convention in Phoenix.

The Justice Department has so far blocked JBS from buying National Beef, saying the deal would give the world's largest beef producer too much control over beef and cattle trade in the US market. JBS became the third-largest US beef producers last year when they bought Smithfield Beef Group, which included the Five Rivers Ranch cattle feeding operation. The National Beef purchase, as proposed, would make them the largest US beef producer.

The court hearing on the deal was postponed for the second time recently and rescheduled for March 6.

Source: meatingplace.com

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