JBS-Friboi Confirms Bid For Swift & Co.

SAO PAULO - JBS-Friboi, the largest producer and exporter of beef in Latin America, said on Thursday it is bidding for North American meat packer Swift & Co.
calendar icon 11 May 2007
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JBS-Friboi, which launched its shares on the local market in April, said in a statement it could offer no further information about the negotiations, the value or the terms of the bid.

Swift had planned to present at an investor conference ... but the meeting was just canceled with no explanation
"John McMillan
Market estimates put the bid at around $1.5 billion, but JBS-Friboi had no comment.

Investment group HM Capital Partners LLC is the majority owner of Swift and on Thursday it and Swift both said they had no comment on the JBS bid.

Swift is the third largest beef and pork processor in the United States, with annual sales of about $9 billion. Based in Greeley, Colorado, it is also the largest beef processor in Australia.

JBS-Friboi slaughters about 22,600 head of cattle a day in its 21 plants across eight states in Brazil and five plants in three provinces of Argentina.

There has been speculation in the U.S. meat industry for more than a year that privately held Swift would eventually be sold, either in whole or in parts, by the investor group owners.

That speculation gained traction in January when Swift said it engaged JP Morgan to assist in reviewing the company's "strategic and financial alternatives." That review was prompted in part by unsolicited inquiries from a variety of third parties, Swift said.

Source: Reuters

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