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SAO PAULO, April 19 (Reuters) - Brazil’s JBS will buy Dutch vegetable-based protein company Vivera for 341 million euros ($408.11 million), as the world’s largest meatpacker expands its offerings to appeal to those who want to eat less meat, it said in a securities filing on Monday.
JBS shares were up 4% on Monday afternoon as analysts cheered the meatpacker’s move into the fast-growing, value-added vegetarian sector. JBS “is back in M&A mode,” BTG Pactual wrote in a client note, highlighting that the company has now announced six acquisitions in the last two years.
Vivera has a portfolio of 50 products with three production facilities and a research and development facility in the Netherlands. The company sells in the Dutch, German and UK markets, accounting for roughly 60% of Europe’s plant-based protein market, as well as other countries, according to JBS.
JBS Chief Executive Gilberto Tomazoni said that Vivera will give the Brazilian company more exposure to the meatless segment. The acquisition will add to JBS’ Planterra unit that sells the OZO brand and its Seara unit’s Incrível line in Brazil.
“It’s a growing segment globally...we will be a relevant player in this sector,” Tomazoni said in an interview.
“The acquisition makes strategic sense, to greatly accelerate our strategy in the plant-based segment.”
JBS said in a statement that Vivera would be maintained as an independent unit with its current leadership.
Vivera has $100 million in annual revenue, which makes it the third largest plant-based protein company in Europe, Tomazoni said. That compares to JBS’ 2020 net revenue of 270 billion reais ($48.33 billion), mostly derived from the North American market.
Vivera has grown about 25-30% annually in recent years, Tomazoni said.
The executive said that the company is continuing to actively look for deals at the right price that make strategic sense.
He also said that the company maintains its plans to list its United States subsidiary, and it was only a question of timing. He declined to give further details. (Reporting by Roberto Samora, writing by Carolina Mandl, editing by Louise Heavens and Aurora Ellis)
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