Marfrig Global Foods beefs up with 51 percent stake in National Beef Packing Company

636590354387221596beefjerky.jpg

11 Apr 2018 --- Marfrig Global Foods SA is to become the world’s second-largest beef producer after agreeing to pay US$969 million to acquire control of US-based National Beef Packing Company. 

Marfrig Global Foods, one of the world’s largest animal protein producers, has reached an agreement for the acquisition of 51 percent of the membership interests in National Beef Packing Company, LLC, the fourth-largest beef processor in the US.

Marfrig has agreed to pay US$969 million for the equity interest and, once the transaction is concluded, will become the world’s second-largest beef processor, with consolidated sales of R$43 billion (US$13 billion).

Founded in 1992, National Beef reported sales of US$7.3 billion (R$ 24.3 billion) in 2017 and, since 2011, has been controlled by Leucadia National Corporation, which currently holds a 79 percent interest. 

National Beef has a slaughtering capacity of 12,000 heads of cattle per day and is headquartered in Kansas City. It has two slaughterhouses located in Dodge City and Liberal, Kansas and accounts for approximately 13 percent of total US cattle slaughtering capacity.

National Beef is one of the most profitable beef companies in the US and once the transaction closes, Leucadia will transfer control to Marfrig and remain a minority shareholder in National Beef, with a 31 percent interest.

The US Premium Beef, an association of American producers, will hold 15 percent and other shareholders with the remaining 3 percent.

Leucadia and the other investors have agreed not to sell their shares in National Beef for at least five years.

The transaction imputes an enterprise value to National Beef of US$2.3 billion, including debt, which results in an EV/LTM EBITDA multiple of 4.4 times.

With the acquisition of National Beef, Marfrig achieves two key objectives outlined in its strategic plan. First, it consolidates its strong position in the beef industry, which is the Marfrig’s original core business. A leader in the US beef industry, National Beef exports to 40 countries, including Japan, which is a market currently closed to beef exports from Brazil.

In 2017, Marfrig reported adjusted EBITDA of R$1.7 billion (US$516 billion). With National Beef, its Pro-forma EBITDA will increase to R$3.4 billion (US$ 1.0 billion).

“The acquisition of National Beef represents the realization of a unique opportunity,” said Martín Secco, CEO of Marfrig. “With the transaction, we will have operations in the world’s two largest beef markets, will gain access to extremely sophisticated consumer countries and will be able to grow while maintaining rigorous financial discipline.”

The second key objective the transaction achieves is improving Marfrig’s leverage ratio.  Upon closing, Marfrig will consolidate 100 percent of the results of National Beef. Last year, Marfrig’s total debt corresponded to 4.55 times its Ebitda. With the acquisition, this ratio decreases to 3.35 times. The transaction will be financed by a loan from Rabobank.

Other measures to deleverage Marfrig are in place including the decision of selling Keystone Foods, a leading supplier of high-quality, value-added food products to the world’s leading foodservice, retail and convenience, and industrial brands.

This sale together with the National Beef transaction should help Marfrig to achieve its goal of reaching a leverage ratio of 2.5 times by the end of 2018.

“The acquisition of National Beef reflects our sustainable growth strategy,” says Marcos Molina, chairman of the Board of Directors of Marfrig Global Foods. “From now on, we have become the Brazilian company of the sector with the best financial health, proved into the lowest rates of leverage.”

The key executives of National Beef, including its CEO Tim Klein, will continue to manage and remain at the company. The Board of Managers of National Beef will consist of nine members, of which five will be nominated by Marfrig, two by Leucadia and two by the other minority members.

“We are pleased to remain a significant shareholder in National Beef and to partner with Marfrig and the company’s management team in its continued development,” said Rich Handler, CEO at Leucadia and Brian Friedman, President of Leucadia.

Rabo Securities USA acted as Marfrig’s financial advisor in the acquisition transaction of the National Beef stock control. Linklaters LLP acted as international counsel and Lefosse Advogados acted as Brazilian counsel to Marfrig.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Food loss challenge: Rabobank’s start-up shortlist to help reduce food loss in Asia

15 Oct 2018 --- Rabobank is tackling the issue of food loss throughout the supply chain by focusing on holistic solutions and is running a competition where start-ups pitch their ideas to reduce food loss to food and agri industry leaders and investors. Through the Food Loss Challenge Asia, Rabobank aims to look for solutions to curb food loss from farm to market and is asking start-ups “Do you have an existing tech-based solution that reduces food loss from farm to market in Asia?”

Food Ingredients News

Greencore sells US operations to Hearthside in US$1bn plus deal

15 Oct 2018 --- Greencore Group plc has agreed to the sale of its entire US business, Greencore US, to an affiliate of Hearthside Food Solutions LLC for US$1,075 million on a cash and debt-free basis. Greencore says that following the deal, it expects to have a leading position in its core UK market, greater financial and strategic flexibility and potential for dynamic capital management. Hearthside believes the transaction marks a significant step in the further growth and development of its network.

Food Ingredients News

Chr. Hansen acquires dairy ingredient supplier Hundsbichler, raises organic growth targets

15 Oct 2018 --- Chr. Hansen is further expanding its enzyme production and presence into the traditional segments of specialty cheeses, with the newly announced acquisition of the assets of Austrian-based ingredient supplier Österreichische Laberzeugung Hundsbichler GmbH. Hundsbichler products are widely recognized for high quality and the purchase will enable Chr. Hansen to offer cheesemakers a second-to-none product portfolio in the animal rennet space, according to the company. Separately, the company announced that it had achieved all the overall financial targets set at the beginning of the year and raised its ambitions 9-11 percent organic growth for next year.

Food Ingredients News

Start-up focus: US-based Variety Fun targets healthy and convenient snacks market, direct to your door

15 Oct 2018 --- Two entrepreneurs have turned their US$165,000 investment into a millennial-favorite snack subscription box, that is now projecting US$12 million dollars in sales for 2018 and over 500,000 boxes sold on Amazon. According to the company, Variety Fun’s subscription service delivers an assortment of snacks to US offices, improving workplace culture and boosting employee morale. Variety Fun is a snack subscription box that curates “hundreds of the best-tasting, classic and nutritional brands,” including Popcorners, Hippeas, and Popchips, for offices in the US. By partnering with over 500 snack brands, the company offers businesses the most affordable and convenient subscription snack service with the most extensive selection.

Food Ingredients News

Nestlé co-founds the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare to advance standards

15 Oct 2018 --- Nestlé and six other food companies (Aramark, Compass Group, Elior Group, IKEA Food Services, Nestlé, Sodexo and Unilever), have joined forces through the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW) to advance animal welfare standards throughout the global food supply chain.

More Articles