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March 12, 2019

Marfrig acquires majority stake in Iowa Premium

Brazilian meat firm Marfrig Global Foods has taken a majority stake in US-based beef processor Iowa Premium.

By Dean Best

Brazilian meat firm Marfrig Global Foods has taken a majority stake in US-based beef processor Iowa Premium as part of a consortium investment.

Marfrig’s indirect subsidiary NBM US Holdings undertook the transaction for a 51% share of Iowa Premium, which is located in the city of Tama and produces corn-fed Black Angus beef for the US market and 50 overseas destinations. 

The 51% holding, which was valued at US$76.5m, will be transferred over to Missouri-based National Beef Packing Co., the North American business in which Marfrig acquired a 51% stake in April last year.

Other shareholders in National Beef also took part in the deal conducted for a total enterprise value of $150m and bought from US foodservice supplier Sysco Holdings – Jefferies Financial Group, US Premium Beef, TMK Holdings based in California and Iranian commodities producer NBPCo. 

Eduardo Miron, the chief executive of Marfrig, said of the deal: “This operation, together with the other shareholders of National Beef, demonstrates our commitment to sustainable growth and is an opportunity to elevate our participation in the operation of North America.”

Iowa Premium has a slaughter capacity of 1,100 head of cattle a day and generates annual revenues of $650m. 

Brian Friedman, the chairman of Jefferies, which holds a 30% stake in National Beef, added: “The collective investment in Iowa Premium reflects the optimism of the company in relation to the US beef market and the long-term focus of our partnership with Marfrig.”

Along with its 51% stake in Iowa Premium, Marfrig has also entered into a “long-term” supply agreement with Sysco.     

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