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Texas Officials Want Another Look at JBS Takeover

23 June 2008

US – Representatives of the Texas, largest cattle state in the US, have recently contacted the United States Department of Justice to implement a 'thorough review' of the proposed acquisitions by Brazilian-owned JBS SA of National Beef Packing Co., Smithfield Beef Group and Five Rivers Ranch Cattle Feeding.

Todd Staples and Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs were both praised by the US meat industry action group R-Calf for their latest decision.

“I want to very graciously thank these officials for taking the time to write a letter to the Justice Department and I will continue to work with them to make sure they have all the information they need in order to see how this JBS merger would harm independent U.S. cattle producers by increasing JBS’ market power and decreasing competition in the marketplace,” said R-CALF USA Region V Director Stayton Weldon, of Cuero, Texas. “I’m absolutely thrilled to death that we’ve gotten some kind of response from Texas on any cattle-related issue. I look forward to keeping them informed by providing an independent producer’s view of the industry.”

“The largest beef processor in the world, JBS will become owner of the largest cattle feeder in the country if the merger is complete,” the letter states in part. “This unification of companies will also combine three of the top five U.S. beef processors into a single entity. With a price tag estimated to be more than $1 billion, the proposed business transaction is facing close scrutiny from the market and producers.

“As supporters of competition in market economies, we urge you to examine closely the ramifications of this merger,” the letter continues. “We understand a strong procedural system and stringent legal requirements are in place for these types of review and are vital in protecting competition in agricultural markets…”

R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard said the group hopes that attorneys general from around the country will join together and use their authority to formally challenge the JBS merger.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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