Brazil's JBS marks Australia expansion with deal for Rivalea Holdings
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Brazil’s JBS marks Australia expansion with deal for Rivalea Holdings

By Simon Harvey 08 Jun 2021 (Last Updated June 8th, 2021 14:55)

Brazilian meat business JBS has inked a deal in Australia in the pork segment.

Brazil’s JBS marks Australia expansion with deal for Rivalea Holdings

Brazilian meat processor JBS, which has just emerged from a major cyber-security attack, has announced the buy-out of Australian pork business Rivalea Holdings.

Struck for an enterprise value of AUD175m (US$135.4m), the deal also includes Oxdale Dairy in Singapore, with both companies to be acquired from QAF Ltd – based in the Asian city-state – subject to approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board in Canberra.

JBS said Rivalea commands a 26% share of the Australian pork market and generates annual sales of AUD400m. The company operates two pork processing facilities in Melbourne and Corowa, New South Wales, employing more than a 1,000 people and producing brands such as Riverview Farms, Family Chef and St. Bernard’s. It also offers private label and contract manufacturing.

Gilberto Tomazoni, JBS’ global CEO, said in a statement: “With the acquisition of Rivalea, JBS takes the lead in pork processing in Australia. We added important brands to our portfolio and created better conditions to accelerate the growth of the value-added business and brand in the country, in addition to strengthening our export platform.”

QAF said in its own statement that its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Hamsdale International and Oxdale Investments, have agreed to sell the entire issued share capital of Rivalea and Oxdale Dairy to JBS. It added that Rivalea Holdings owns two subsidiaries in Australia – 100% of Rivalea Australia and 80% of Diamond Valley Pork.

The Singaporean firm said it is selling what QAF calls its primary production business in order to focus on the bakery segment in the company’s core markets of Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines

“Following nearly 20 years of ownership by the group, the primary production business is now an ideal platform and has reached the necessary scale for a new owner with a strong focus on the animal-protein segment to bring it to its next growth phase and take the business to the next level,” QAF said.

Publicly-listed JBS entered Australia around 22 years ago and has extensive operations in pork, beef and lamb, including the Seven Point Australian Pork brand. JBS also owns Primo Foods, a manufacturer of ham, bacon, salami and deli meats.

In terms of meat processing, JBS runs five beef facilities in Queensland and New South Wales under its so-called Northern Division operations, and another four for beef and lamb in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the state of South Australia.

“The acquisition of Rivalea will allow JBS to increase its product diversification in Australia, as well as grow the volume of higher value-added pork-based foods at Primo, while opening up new opportunities for Australian pork in the domestic and export markets,” the Brazilian meat firm said.

JBS noted last Friday that it had restored operations in North America and Australia following the cyber attack, which the FBI has linked with REvil, a Russia cyber-criminal group also known as Sodinokibi.

On the deals front, JBS also struck earlier this year to acquire Vivera, the Dutch plant-based meat business.