U.S. subsidiary listing a priority for JBS

Brazil/United States
Published:  11 December, 2017

The Brazilian meatpacking giant says the public listing of its U.S. subsidiary remains a priority as it seeks to reduce the Company’s cost of capital.

The US$500 million initial public offering (IPO) of processed food subsidiary JBS Foods International BV was first announced in December 2016, and was initially planned to be lunched in the first half of 2017. However, as reported by ILM, JBS SA filed a withdrawal request with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on October 13, following a series of corruption scandals.

“The IPO is our priority, we have not taken it off the radar”, said Gilberto Tomazoni, Head of Operations, during an event with investors and analysts in São Paulo, Brazil. According to Tomazoni, the Group is seeking to reduce the Company’s cost of capital, which does not reflect the company’s geographical diversification. The Brazil-based operations are said to represent only 24% of the meatpacker’s revenue.

JBS expects to reduce its debt levels in coming months through cash generation and asset sales. The Company agreed to sell its Mercosur beef operations in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay for about R$1 billion (US$300 million) to rival Minerva in July this year, and also sold its shares in dairy manufacturer Vigor (19.43%) to Mexican Lala Group for R$5 billion (US$1.52 billion). In September, JBS sold Moy Park, a leading meat processor in Europe, for US$1.3 billion to Pilgrim's Pride, a company controlled by JBS.

The meatpacker reported better-than-expected third quarter results in the three months to September 30, 2017 with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation reaching a record R$4.32 billion (US$1.3 billion), against R$3.14 billion in Q3 2016. Excluding a Brazilian tax charge, net profit stood at R$1.9 billion (US$579 million). Read more here.

In a testimony on December 1, JBS’ veterinary surgeon Flavio Evers Cassou confessed that he paid monthly bribes to inspectors of Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture and other payments to politicians. He was a key target in the rotten meat investigations, which was made public in March this year.