June 22, 2021

JBS Australia takes over Australia's biggest pork producer



JBS Australia is set to become the biggest pork processor in Australia after it acquired Rivalea, the country's largest pork producer.


In an announcement to the market this month, JBS said it would pay A$175 million (US$131.2 million) for Rivalea's integrated pork processing, piggery, wholesaling and stockfeeds businesses, which slaughter about 1.4 million pigs each year, producing about 26% of Australia's pork requirements from plants in Corowa and Melbourne.


After expanding its piggery sites in southern New South Wales and central Victoria, installing effluent-powered clean energy generators and spending $8 million upgrading its Melbourne processing site's capacity, QAF, the Singapore owner of Rivalea, said the company was now "of sufficient scale to be an ideal platform for a new owner with a strong focus on the animal protein segment to take the business to the next level."


The vertically-integrated business employs more than 1,000 staff and operates about 7,600ha of farmland including a network of 25 piggeries in the Murray Valley and near Bendigo, and in the Victorian Wimmera, having about 40,000 breeding sows. Contractors own another 18 of Riverlea's supply farms.


The acquisition of Rivalea will allow JBS to increase its product diversification in Australia, boosting volumes of value-added products using pork meat within the company's Primo business, as well as opening up new opportunities for domestic and export sales of pork, according to a statement.


"With total annual sales of circa A$400 million (US$310 million), an EBITDA of A$37 million (US$27.8 million), Rivalea already has sustainability as the focus of its business strategy," JBS global chief executive Gilberto Tomazon said.


"The company sells well-known Australian consumer brands such as Riverview Farms, Family Chef and St Bernard's that will strengthen our presence with consumers and customers," JBS Australia chief executive Brent Eastwood said.


The acquisition is subject to relevant regulatory approvals including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board.


Given that both buyer and seller are foreign entities, there's likely to be little opposition, observers said.

- Beef Central