JBS is seeking a stock-market listing in New York, giving the meat giant dual access to investor funds in Brazil and the US.
The world’s largest meatpacker completed an IPO in Sao Paulo in 2007 and had been touting a US listing since at least 2016 through its Netherlands-headquartered overseas subsidiary JBS Foods International.
However, JBS culled the plans in 2017 amid a corruption scandal centered around the company’s controlling shareholder, J&F Investimentos, and two members of the Batista family that ran the investment firm.
JBS said today (12 July) the plans are back on, as it seeks shareholder approval for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). An extraordinary shareholders’ meeting will be called in due course to approve the proposal.
Global CEO Gilberto Tomazoni said in a statement: “Today, JBS presents a transformative value proposition to its shareholders and the market that will unlock the potential value of our global company for all stakeholders.
“The dual-listing strategy will accelerate our capacity for diversification and growth into more branded and value-added food products, reduce our cost of capital and generate greater returns for shareholders while creating opportunities for the communities where we operate and for our more than 260,000 team members around the world.”
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Under the proposal, JBS said its Brazilian depositary receipts (BDRs) will be traded in Sau Paulo, Brazil, backed by class A shares listed on the NYSE through the Netherlands-incorporated subsidiary JBS NV.
JBS, a 375bn reais ($77.3bn) revenue business and the majority owner of listed poultry supplier Pilgrim’s Pride in the US, added that a “dividend distribution linked to the dual listing will be part of the transaction, given the strategic relevance of the proposal”.
Tomazoni, who became CEO in 2018 in the wake of the Barista brothers scandal, continued: “The market has patiently requested this next step from our company, and we believe we have responded with a compelling proposal that reinforces our commitment to Brazil, creates value for our stakeholders and should be well received by minority shareholders and the market.”
Global finance chief Guilherme Cavalcanti said the dual listing will provide JBS with greater financial flexibility to support growth through the issuance of shares, while reducing its cost of capital incurred via the debt markets.
“This proposal will enhance transparency and strengthen corporate governance, attracting a broader base of investors with greater financial capacity,” Cavalcanti said.