Brazilian beef giant JBS SA is set to announce as soon as next week the acquisition of Texas-based Pilgrim's Pride Corp. for a price of roughly $2.5 billion, say people familiar with the matter. The deal would pull the second-largest chicken company in the U.S. out of bankruptcy court and shake up the global meat business.
If the JBS deal for Pilgrim's Pride advances, the new company would create a stronger rival to Tyson Foods. Above, the Brazil company called itself 'The world's largest meat producer' after it acquired Swift & Co. in 2007.
The deal was in the final stages of negotiation Wednesday and could fall apart. But if it moves ahead as expected, it would create a new US. rival to Tyson Foods Inc., the biggest U.S. meat company that produces beef, chicken and pork. Combined, Pilgrim's Pride and JBS's U.S. unit -- which includes sales at the JBS business in Australia -- would have posted about $20 billion in revenue last year. Tyson's fiscal 2008 revenue was $27 billion.
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