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Pilgrim's Pride buys UK poultry co for $1.3 billion

Colorado-based Pilgrim's Pride has agreed to acquire British poultry producer Moy Park from Brazil's JBS SA (which also is Pilgrim Pride's majority shareholder) for around $1.3 billion.

Why it's a big deal: Not too long ago, JBS was known in M&A circles as an active acquirer. But it seems those purchases were partially enabled by a massive graft scheme that ultimately ensnared both members of the family that controls JBS and Brazilian politicians. Now JBS is shedding assets to pay related penalties, having previously agreed to sell dairy Vigot Alimentos to Mexico's Grupo Lala. The big question now is if this Moy Park sale is just a precursor to JBS selling off a more robust Pilgrim's Pride (in which Cargill had previously expressed interest in buying).

Bottom line from Reuters: "Moy Park supplies 25 percent of chicken consumed in western Europe, according to its website. It is one of Britain's top 10 food companies, with 13 processing and manufacturing units in Northern Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands and Ireland."