Northern Ireland’s largest private employer, poultry integrator Moy Park, has sold to Pilgrim’s Pride, a major producer of chicken in the United States for £1bn.
Moy Park has been for sale for a number of months, with Chinese agri-giant New Hope Group previously tipped as a likely buyer.
Its previous owners, Brazilian firm JBS, wanted to offload the profitable business from its books to raise cash.
Pilgrim’s said its purchase would help transform the largely American-based business from a domestic producer to a “global player”. It also said it expected to find $50m worth of savings as the 2 businesses reduce duplication and gain enhanced bargaining power.
Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s chief executive officer, said: “Following our successful acquisitions of GNP and the assets in Mexico, Moy Park represents a logical next step in the evolution of our geographical and brands footprint. The acquisition gives us access to the attractive UK and European markets, which advances our strategy of diversifying our portfolio to be more global while reducing volatility across our businesses.”
Moy Park’s chief executive, Janet McCollum, described the deal as a positive development for the business. “Joining Pilgrim’s gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans, share best practices and leverage Pilgrim’s expertise and operational excellence. Moy Park will provide Pilgrim’s with a platform for growth in Europe as well as access to innovation and increased exposure to prepared foods.”
Moy Park processes more than 5.7 million birds a week and has 13 processing plants located in the UK, Ireland, France and the Netherlands.