Marfrig, Minerva unaware of decision blocking deal in Uruguay

Marfrig also controls Brazil-based poultry and pork processor BRF
calendar icon 20 May 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig said on Friday that it has not been notified of a decision reported in the media that its deal to sell some plants to rival Minerva has been blocked by Uruguayan antitrust authorities, Reuters reported

Buyer Minerva issued a nearly identical statement on the matter. Uruguay's economy ministry told Reuters on Friday the country's antitrust authority has not made an official decision and was not commenting at this time.

Marfrig agreed in August to sell 16 slaughtering plants to Minerva for 7.5 billion reais ($1.47 billion), in a deal that would significantly change its profile in South America.

The sale of assets is split into two separate transactions, including a price tag of 1.5 billion reais for the plants in Uruguay and 6 billion reais for those in the other countries, Santander analysts said.

"Even if the deal in Uruguay is not approved, we expect no impact on similar transactions in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile," Santander wrote, adding that conclusion of the whole transaction is conditioned on approval in Brazil.

The units being divested are located in Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. Most process cattle while one in Chile slaughters lambs.

If the deal goes through as proposed by the firms, Marfrig would retain only its larger-scale industrial facilities in South America in a bid to prioritize production of processed meat products. Minerva would continue to focus on beef.

Goldman Sachs said three of the 16 plants targeted by Minerva are based in Uruguay, accounting for 16% of the total beef slaughtering capacity it is seeking to acquire.

Goldman said it expected a negative share reaction for the buyer but told clients it needs more information to gauge the full impact of the deal potentially falling through in Uruguay.

Marfrig also controls Brazil-based poultry and pork processor BRF, and National Beef in the United States.

Shares in Marfrig rose as much as 3.4% in Sao Paulo before paring some gains to trade up 0.9%. Minerva shares were up 2.2% in morning trading but reversed course in early afternoon, slipping 0.5%.

($1 = 5.1118 reais)

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