Smithfield completes sale of beef operation to JBS

- Last updated on GMT

Smithfield Foods has announced the sale of its beef business to Brazilian beef company JBS SA.

The deal, worth $565m, received clearance by regulators earlier this week, with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) saying it would not challenge the merger.

However the DOJ has filed a lawsuit to block JBS from buying the US’s fourth-largest beef processor, National Beef Packing, claiming the acquisition substantially restructure the beef packing industry, eliminating a competitively significant packer, and placing more than 80 per cent of domestic fed cattle packing capacity in the hands of three firms: JBS, Tyson​ Foods and Cargill​.

The DOJ said the deal would, from a price perspective, be bad for both consumers and cattle suppliers.

"The combination of JBS and National will likely lead to grocers, food service companies and ultimately American consumers paying higher prices for beef,"​ said Thomas Barnett, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department’s Antitrust Division.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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