Belfast Telegraph

Moy Park sold: Pilgrim's Pride Corporation buys Northern Ireland chicken giant for £1bn

Moy Park is one of Northern Ireland’s biggest employers
Moy Park is one of Northern Ireland’s biggest employers

By John Mulgrew

Moy Park has been sold to a US food firm for $1.3bn (£1bn).

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation today announced that it has acquired Moy Park – one of Northern Ireland's biggest firms, which has its headquarters in Craigavon.

It had been owned by Brazilian firm JBS.

Janet McCollum, chief Executive of Moy Park, said the “announcement is a positive development for Moy Park and all our colleagues employed across the business”.

“Pilgrim’s is one of the leading chicken producers in the world with a proven track record and we see great opportunities for Moy Park as part of this successful business.

“Joining Pilgrim’s gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans, share best practices and leverage Pilgrim’s expertise and operational excellence.

“Moy Park will provide Pilgrim’s with a platform for growth in Europe as well as access to innovation and increased exposure to prepared foods.”

Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s chief executive, said: “We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Moy Park, which will position Pilgrim's to become a global player, with an improved and more stable margin profile on the chicken business and an expanded portfolio of prepared foods.

“Following our successful acquisitions of GNP and the assets in Mexico, Moy Park represents a logical next step in the evolution of our geographical and brands footprint.

“The acquisition gives us access to the attractive UK and European markets, which advances our strategy of diversifying our portfolio to be more global while reducing volatility across our businesses.”

Poultry giant Moy Park reported 7.4% year-on-year sales growth to £392m as a sale of the Brazilian-owned company draws nearer.

The firm, which employs around 6,300 people in Northern Ireland, also reported pre-tax profits of £11.5m for the second quarter of the year, down 0.8% from £11.6m over the same quarter a year earlier.

However, sales were up from £365m to £392m over the same period, as the firm benefited from volume growth and a favourable exchange rate environment.

The company’s chief executive Janet McCollum received a lifetime achievement award at this year’s Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in partnership with Ulster Bank.

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