Marfrig sells 16 cold storage plants to Minerva Foods, 3 in Uruguay

In a strategic move that impacts the regional meat processing landscape, Minerva Foods has consolidated its presence by purchasing 16 meat packing plants from Marfrig Global Foods.

The commercial operation has been valued at more than US$1.5 billion, covering a variety of plants in South America, three of which are located in the following countries UruguayColonia, Salto and San José.

Regional expansion

The expansion efforts of Minerva Foods in Uruguay have been accelerated through the execution of contracts and agreements between the company, its subsidiary Athn Foods Holdings S.A., and Marfrig Global Foods S.A. These negotiations, which have been in development for more than a decade, have resulted in a significant transaction involving a total of 16 plants: 11 in Uruguay and 11 in Uruguay. Brazilthree in Uruguayone in Argentina and another in Chile.

The acquisition by Minerva of the plants of Marfrig in Uruguay, including Salto, Colonia and San José, positions Minerva to assert its dominance in the beef processing sector. This move complements Minerva's existing assets, such as Carrasco, Canelones, PUL (Cerro Largo) and the recent addition of BPU.

Marfrig in line with a strategic shift

Despite divesting a substantial portion of its assets, Marfrig will retain 60% of the total revenues generated by its South American operations in 2022. This decision is in line with the company's strategic shift of Marfrig towards concentrating on high value-added products and brands. The company will maintain its industrial complexes in Argentina and several Brazilian states: Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso and São Paulo.

In Uruguay, Marfrig will maintain its renowned organic meat complex in Tacuarembó and the processed meat unit in Fray Bentos.

In Chile, its storage, distribution and marketing complexes will continue to operate.

It should be noted that the sale of the processing assets to Minerva does not involve any exchange of shares and is subject to the approval of regulatory and competition authorities. This cautious approach underscores the complexities of such a significant transaction in the industry.

The significance of the Minerva acquisition in figures

The plants transferred to Minerva include key processing units in the following locations Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. This acquisition substantially enhances the capacity of Minerva Foods, with a total processing potential of cattle of 42,439 head per day at 40 plants.

Brazil will represent 52.6% of this capacity, with 21 plants processing 22,336 head daily. At UruguayIn addition, capacity will increase to 4,550 head per day at seven plants, further strengthened by the recent purchase of BPU from NH Foods. In addition, the presence of Minerva extends to Paraguay and Colombia with 8,025 and 1,550 head per day, respectively. In sheep processing, a total of 25,716 head per day will be handled at five plants located at Australia and Chile.

Considering the significance and impact of the commercial operation, attention is currently focused on the regulatory landscape. Although the overall percentage of control between the two companies remains constant, the authorities will evaluate the possible implications of this consolidation in the Uruguayan market. This step becomes relevant to safeguard competition and maintain a balanced market ecosystem.

Dario Fernandez
Dario Fernandez
Director and editor of Portal Agroalimentario. Journalist. Diploma in Social Communication.

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