Tyson Foods Inc. has announced an agreement to buy a 40-percent stake in the foods division of Grupo Vibra, a Brazilian poultry producer and exporter. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the transaction is still subject to approval by Brazilian regulators.

“This investment will enable us to access poultry supplies in Brazil to meet the growing needs of Brazilian customers and of priority demand markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East,” said Donnie King, group president, international and chief administration officer for Tyson Foods. “It’s part of our strategy to develop a more flexible supply chain and mitigate the volatility of our previous model, which relied primarily on U.S. exports.”

Grupo Vibra is one of the leading poultry producers in Brazil. The company produces and merchandises chicken under the Nat and Avia brands. Grupo Vibra’s facilities, headquartered in Montenegro, Brazil, include hatcheries, laboratories, farms, feed factories and slaughterhouses. The company has 18 production facilities, more than 4,000 employees and a network of about 700 integrated producer families.

“This agreement is the result of the mutual trust between our two companies and the goal of both companies to expand globally,” said Flavio Sergio Wallauer, chairman of the board for Grupo Vibra. “We also both believe in the importance of constantly adding value to our products. For us, this includes continuing to grow, innovate and strengthen the position of our brands, Nat and Avia.”

The purchase continues Tyson’s investments into international markets. Last year, the company acquired Keystone Foods, a subsidiary of Brazil’s Marfrig Global Foods, which includes operations in China, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia. In addition, Tyson acquired the Thai and European business from meat producer BRF S.A.

Estimates show that over the next five years nearly 98 percent of protein consumption growth will happen outside the United States.

“That’s why we’re growing our business outside the U.S.,” Mr. King said. “As the world population continues to grow, Tyson will grow with it.”

Tyson Foods’ annual sales include $7 billion in international sales, including $5 billion in U.S. export sales and about $2 billion in in-country revenues.

“Tyson will add know-how and new business opportunities to speed up our growth,” said Gerson Luís Müller, chief executive officer of Grupo Vibra. “This partnership will be important to further develop our businesses in Brazil and foreign markets, granting access to new technologies and investments mainly in R.&D. We will capitalize on a global distribution network to reach new markets. We trust that this agreement will strongly contribute to improve the quality of our services, adding new products to our portfolio offered to clients and consumers.”

The agreement includes plans for Grupo Vibra to spin off its genetics multiplication business, Agrogen, into a separate company.

 

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