Keystone Foods’ initial public offering should occur in the first half of 2018, as part of a plan to boost growth, CEO  Martin Secco of Brazilian parent Marfrig Global Foods said, according to a Meatingplace report.

Secco said Marfrig is firm in its decision to carry out the IPO, to proceed with the group’s growth plan and to reduce leverage.  “We have been working very hard, always looking for the best opportunity to do this operation from the point of view of pricing.”

Marfrig, Brazil’s second-largest beef processor, announced in May that it would use proceeds from the IPO to finance the company’s growth. Marfrig posted a net loss of $17.7 million in the third quarter, a 62.5-percent reduction from total losses in the same period last year and the lowest quarterly loss of the last two years, Marfrig announced this week.  Net revenue increased $1.5 billion, helped by a boost in production and sales at its beef division in Brazil because of the reopening of units that had been  temporarily closed.

Keystone Foods net revenue totaled $713 million, up 4 percent from the same period last year, led mainly by growth in foodservice sales in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa. “Quick-service restaurants (QSR) and non-commercial foodservice demand continue to drive volume growth in China and international QSR growth continues to drive volume in other parts of Asian Pacific, Middle East and Africa,”  Keystone Foods said.

Keystone Foods, based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, supplies fresh and frozen animal protein products including chicken fillets and patties, beef patties, nuggets, wings, and other products to quick-service restaurants, retailers and industrial foods service companies.