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Moy Park taken over by JBS in Northern Ireland's biggest ever food deal at £988m

By Margaret Canning

Published 29/09/2015

Moy Park Dungannon Factory
Moy Park Dungannon Factory

Northern Ireland’s biggest ever food deal has now closed, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal, as Moy Park was taken over by Brazilian food group JBS in a $1.5bn (£988m) deal.

The deal received EU Regulatory Approval in recent days and was concluded last night.

Moy Park is Northern Ireland’s biggest employer, with 6,300 employees in the province and another 5,400 in Great Britain. 

It also employs 800 people in France, 100 in Holland and around 50 in the Republic of Ireland. Customers include supermarkets like Asda and Waitrose as well as fast food giants such as McDonald’s and Burger King.

Chief executive Janet McCollum said: “This is an exciting new phase in Moy Park’s development. 

“Moy Park and JBS share common values and goals with a focus on our customers, delivering high quality, innovative products underpinned by agricultural and operational excellence.  Our day to day focus will remain very much business as usual.”

Adrian Doran, head of corporate banking in Northern  Ireland for Barclays, said: “With a transaction value approaching £1bn, this is one of the biggest ever corporate transactions in Northern Ireland. 

“Moy Park’s new owner JBS is one of the largest food groups in the world, and the combined entity is therefore an even more important player, particularly in the protein market.”

Moy Park has been a trailblazing firm in Northern Ireland and last year became the first company in the Belfast Telegraph Top 100 Companies to be led by a woman.

The deal is one of a series of big corporate transactions involving Northern Ireland firms in 2015 so far. 

Neasa Quigley, joint head of corporate law at law firm Carson McDowell, said: “M&A activity in the market remains very strong, with continued international interest in Northern Ireland trading businesses.

“Our view is that this trend and the high levels of activity are set to continue for the rest of this year and into 2016.

“We advised McKesson Corp on their recent agreement to buy the pharmaceutical distribution business of UDG Healthcare plc, which includes the Sangers business in Northern Ireland.

“It was a transaction of significant value and coming only months after the £1bn sale of Moy Park to another Brazilian food group was announced, it serves to demonstrate that Northern Ireland-based businesses are increasingly very attractive to acquisitive companies that operate on a global level.”

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