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April 19, 2021updated 11 May 2021 5:39pm

JBS said to be vying to acquire plant-based business Vivera

By Simon Harvey

Brazilian meat processor JBS is said to be vying to acquire Dutch plant-based business Vivera.

JBS is reportedly leading the charge to purchase Vivera and is in advanced talks with the firm, while ‘other large consumer companies’ are also interested, according to sources with knowledge of the matter cited by Bloomberg, which said valuations could put a price tag of EUR300m (US$359.4m) to EUR400m on the deal.

Vivera, founded in 1990 as Encko-Vivera, a traditional protein company with a presence in vegan and vegetarian products, went fully plant-based in 2019 when it sold the meat part of the business Encko to Dutch meat processor Van Loon Group. Vivera has a small presence in Brazil with a distribution agreement with meat giant BRF.

The company announced a plan last year to invest EUR30m in one of its Netherlands plants over three years in an effort to double production of meat alternatives. Vivera is focused on the European markets, including the UK.

Vivera offers branded and private-label products mainly through retail and is backed by the Netherlands-based private-equity firm Gilde Buy Out Partners.

Bloomberg said no final agreement has been made between Vivera and JBS, which also majority owns the Pilgrim’s Pride poultry business in the US, adding the discussions could fall apart.

The news agency said JBS could not immediately provide comment on the talks, while Vivera had declined to comment.

just-food has also approached the two companies for comment.

Among the assets of Pilgrim’s Pride are Northern Ireland-based meat processor Moy Park, as well as other operations in the UK acquired in 2019 when the business snapped up the then Tulip from fellow meat processor Danish Crown.

just-food interview with Vivera CEO Willem van Weede, December 2020: “The growth is going to be from brands”

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