Brazil’s JBS Proposes to Buy Rest of Pilgrim’s Pride as Chicken Industry Booms

Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS SA said it plans to buy the portion of U.S. chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. that it doesn’t already own, during a boom time for the chicken industry.

The proposed offer, valuing Colorado-based Pilgrim’s at about $6.5 billion, would fold the company further into JBS’s global meat operations and take it private, JBS said. JBS already owns about 80{ffaccff6b5e07cc1f8fb65d0cd045bc540f1c3f8348a05c16905532f0496f447} of Pilgrim’s.

The proposed deal is the second big chicken transaction to be announced this week. Sanderson Farms Inc., the third-largest U.S. chicken processor by volume, on Monday announced a $4.5 billion deal to sell itself to Cargill Inc. and Continental Grain Co., which run their own chicken businesses.

U.S. poultry prices have surged this year as restaurants reopened for indoor dining and fast food chains, including McDonald’s Corp. and Shake Shack Inc., rolled out new crispy chicken sandwiches. Wholesale prices for chicken breasts have roughly doubled since the beginning of the year, and wing prices have climbed to record levels.

Pilgrim’s in late July said it saw demand returning at its food-service business as more consumers got vaccinated and pandemic-related dining restrictions eased. Its second-quarter losses widened, though sales rose 29{ffaccff6b5e07cc1f8fb65d0cd045bc540f1c3f8348a05c16905532f0496f447} as demand continued to recover from pandemic lows.

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