China’s richest chicken farmer, New Hope, has been linked to a GBP1bn (US$1.28bn) takeover of UK poultry giant Moy Park, owned by Brazil-based meat processor JBS.
Citing unnamed industry sources,The Daily Telegraph on Saturday reported New Hope was the frontrunner for Moy Park, which was put up for sale by JBS in June.
Under-fire JBS is looking to offload assets in a bid to beef up its finances. JBS has had a tumultuous 2017, with the company and its controlling shareholder becoming embroiled in corruption scandals.
JBS bought Moy Park from Brazilian meat rival Marfrig two years ago in a deal worth US$1.5bn. Moy Park is the largest private employer in Northern Ireland with 6,300 workers based in County Armagh.
Last week, when JBS announced its half-year results, the company said the process to sell Moy Park was “still in progress and in an early stage, without meeting the requirements to be classified as an asset held for sale”.