Moy Park sells to US firm Pilgrim’s in £1 billion deal

The Pilgrim's acquisition brings oppportunities for both companies said Moy Park CEO Janet McCollum
The Pilgrim's acquisition brings oppportunities for both companies said Moy Park CEO Janet McCollum

Craigavon based Moy Park, one of the UK’s largest poultry processors has been sold to US firm the Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation for £1 billion.

The deal was described by the Colorado based business as creating a leading global poultry and prepared foods concern as Moy Park leaves control of Brazilian firm JBS.

Welcoming the acquisition Pilgrims paid tribute to the “talented team” led by CEO Janet McCollum and pledged the business would continue to run as a distinct unit.

With operations in the UK and Continental Europe it said Moy Park represented an oportunity to significantly grow its global business.

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Moy Park, which will position Pilgrim’s to become a global player, with an improved and more stable margin profile on the chicken business and an expanded portfolio of prepared foods,” said CEO Bill Lovette.

“Following our successful acquisitions of GNP and the assets in Mexico, Moy Park represents a logical next step in the evolution of our geographical and brands footprint. The acquisition gives us access to the attractive UK and European markets, which advances our strategy of diversifying our portfolio to be more global while reducing volatility across our businesses.

“We will have new business opportunities through the addition of Moy Park’s fully integrated poultry production platform and its strong presence in prepared foods.”

As well as strengthening Pilgrim’s’ leading portfolio of brands he said the firm brought strong value-added innovation capabilities, access to new markets, a best-in-class production platform and strong farmer partner relationships.

“In addition, Moy Park shares Pilgrim’s long-standing commitment to become the best and most respected company in our industry.”

Ms McCollum said the move was a positive one for Moy Park and its people.

“Pilgrim’s is one of the leading chicken producers in the world with a proven track record and we see great opportunities for Moy Park as part of this successful business.

“Joining Pilgrim’s gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans, share best practices and leverage Pilgrim’s expertise and operational excellence.

“Moy Park will provide Pilgrim’s with a platform for growth in Europe as well as access to innovation and increased exposure to prepared foods.”

Both firms, she said, had a history in agriculture and poultry production going back over 70 years and shared the same values.

“We look forward to this new and exciting phase of Moy Park’s development as we continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers and consumers, providing fresh, locally-sourced poultry and top quality, innovative products.”

Since its founding in Northern Ireland in 1943, Moy Park has established a strong reputation for providing fresh, high-quality and locally farmed poultry products, as well as a track record of delivering top quartile profit growth.

As a top 10 UK food company and one of Europe’s leading poultry producers, it brings to Pilgrim’s a fully integrated, market-leading platform with more than 800 farmers across the UK.

Moy Park processes more than 5.7 million birds per week and has 13 processing plants located in the UK, Ireland, France and the Netherlands supplying major food retailers and restaurant chains in the UK and Continental Europe. Pilgrim’s anticipates incremental annual revenue of approximately $2.0 billion as a result of the transaction.

Pilgrim’s said it expects to achieve around $50m (£34m)in annualised synergies over the next two years, primarily from the optimisation of sourcing and production, and cost savings in purchasing, production, logistics and sales and administration.