Moy Park sale faces US courts challenge
The sale of Ulster-based chicken processor Moy Park by Brazilian meat firm JBS to its US-based subsidiary Pilgrim’s Pride in September 2017 is to be investigated in the United States.
The ruling from a court in the state of Delaware, follows a complaint by Pilgrim’s Pride shareholders over the $1.3 billion sale which it is alleged was carried out without proper process under eye of senior executives from both firms.
It is alleged that the purchase was forced on the smaller firm by JBS which was under pressure to raise funds to pay a fine of more than $3bn in settlement for its role in a Brazilian corruption scandal.
It is claimed that the price was unfavourable to Pilgrim’s Pride and on Friday last week the court dismissed a motion from executives that there was no case to answer in respect of the sale.
In a statement at the time of the sale process, Pilgrim’s Pride said the deal had been approved by an independent committee that “had been granted full authority” over all aspects of the transaction.
JBS is said to have a 78.5% stake in the firm.
It has stated that a special committee had been appointed to oversee the purchase by three directors “unaffiliated” to it.
Moy Park employs 6,300 people in the province and another 12,000 at operations in the Irish Republic and other European countries.