JBS Loses Fight Over National Beef Merger

Release Date: 

02/20/2009

Contact(s): 

John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010
Lyons, NE - JBS S.A., the Brazilian meatpacker that has quickly become a dominate player in the U.S. beef sector, announced today that the company will cease efforts to acquire National Beef Packing of Kansas city, effective February 23rd.
"This is a huge victory for American ranchers and farmers with livestock.  Thousands of family farmers, ranchers and other concerned citizens, rural and urban, signed the Center for Rural Affairs' petition against the JBS mergers and reached out to the Justice Department to urge them to challenge the JBS mergers," said John Crabtree of the Center for Rural Affairs.  "Justice responded by challenging the JBS - National Beef merger in court, and this announcement is the end result."

JBS originally announced its intention to acquire National Beef on March 4, 2008. The Department of Justice filed a suit to block the deal on Oct. 20, 2008, on grounds that the merger reduced competition in cattle markets.

"Family farmers, ranchers and their allies can and should be proud of winning this battle.  I know the Center for Rural Affairs is proud of our efforts and of all our friends that stood with us on this.  So many people have told us so many times that nothing can be done about these mergers.  Well, they were wrong. We won... family farmers, ranchers and rural communities won... JBS lost," concluded Crabtree.

In a statement, the Brazilian beef giant said all related litigation with the Department of Justice also will be terminated.

"JBS will try to spin it, but this time, on this deal, the little guys won the day," added Crabtree.

JBS became one of the top three U.S. beef packers in October 2008 when Justice approved their purchase of the Smithfield Beef Group, which included four beef packing plants and the Five Rivers Ranch cattle-feeding operation with the capacity to feed over 800,000 head of cattle.  However, JBS negotiations with the Justice department were insufficient to convince Justice to compromise.

JBS S.A. is currently the world's largest beef producer and packer, with a daily slaughter capacity of 65,000 head of cattle.  They are the largest global exporter of processed beef.  Their operations include 22 plants located in nine Brazilian states, six plants located in Argentina, nine plants in Australia, 10 plants in Italy and in the U.S. a daily beef slaughter capacity of 28,100 cattle, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding and a lamb slaughter plant along with three pork packing plants with a daily slaughter capacity of 47,900 hogs.

For more information visit: http://www.cfra.org/competition

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