BRF currently holds 49% of the venture

BRF currently holds 49% of the venture

Brazilian meat heavyweight BRF is selling its stake in Singapore-based SATS Food Services.

Sao Paulo-based BRF said in a statement today (5 September) it is letting go of the 49% joint-venture holding for SGD17m (US$12.2m) as part of a sale and purchase agreement.

The venture supplies halal and frozen meat for retail and foodservice channels destined for Asian markets and export internationally.

BRF said the sale agreement includes the "execution" of a new contract for distribution and licensing of the Brazilian firm's brands. Singapore media reported the operation will be renamed Country Foods following BRF's exit, and it is that entity undertaking the contract.

The meat giant added that the disposal of the stake forms part of its financial and operational restructuring plan designed to cut debt and leverage as it focuses on core markets, mainly Brazil.

In the summer of 2018, BRF announced the restructuring exercise would involve the sale of assets in Europe, Asia and Argentina, some of which it had already disposed of before today's announcement. At the time, the company said it aimed to lower the net debt-to-EBITDA ratio to below three times by the end of 2019. 

Last December, BRF disposed of Argentina-based QuickFood under the restructuring to Brazil-based meat peer Marfrig Global Foods. And the same month, it offloaded Avex, also in Argentina.