Tyson Foods announced in a press release on Monday, August 20 that it has reached a definitive agreement to buy the Keystone Foods business from Marfrig Global Foods for $2.16 billion in cash.  The acquisition of Keystone, a major supplier to the growing global foodservice industry, is Tyson Foods’ latest investment in furtherance of its growth strategy and expansion of its value-added protein capabilities, the company said.

The acquisition includes six processing plants and an innovation center in the U.S. with locations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  It also includes eight plants and three innovation centers in China, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Australia.  The acquisition does not include a beef patty processing plant in Ohio.

“Keystone is a leading global protein company and will be a great addition to Tyson Foods,” said Tom Hayes, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. “This acquisition will expand our international presence and value-added production capabilities and help us deliver more value to our foodservice customers.  Keystone provides a significant foundation for international growth with its in-country operations, sales and distribution network in high growth markets in the Asia Pacific region as well as exports to key markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.   We look forward to serving customers with these additional capabilities and to welcoming Keystone’s dedicated team members to the Tyson Foods family,” Hayes said in the press release.

The transaction, which has been approved by Tyson Foods’ board of directors, is expected to close in mid-fiscal 2019.  It is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Keystone employs approximately 11,000 people.  The company is a supplier of meat protein to fast food restaurants and retail stores across the world, including serving as a major supplier of chicken nuggets to McDonald’s.  Other products include ready-to-cook chicken wings, fish filets and beef patties.  Keystone generated annual revenue of $2.5 billion in the last 12 months ending June 30, 2018. During the same period, the company generated approximately 65 percent of its revenue from U.S.-based production and the remaining 35 percent for its Asia Pacific plants.