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Pilgrim’s Pride considering growth through acquisitions

Company is looking for ‘targets’ inside and outside of the United States

Pilgrim’s Pride CEO Fabio Sandri told analysts that the company was considering more acquisitions as part of its growth strategy.

Sandri addressed the possibility of acquisitions while speaking during the quarterly earnings call on October 29.

“Our growth strategy continues,” said Sandri. “And as we mentioned, we (already have a) strong balance sheet. We are looking to increasing our prepared foods operations and our branded operations to create a more balanced portfolio, and we are also looking for chicken assets where we can extract more value from operational facilities.”

Sandri said the company is “seeing more targets” for possible acquisitions, both inside and outside of the United States. He specifically mentioned that the company is eyeing operations in Europe, the location of its two most recent acquisitions: Tulip and Moy Park. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a few barriers to this growth strategy, as travel restrictions have made it more difficult to visit and view potential assets, “but we are seeing some targets that are still very interesting to us and could create a lot of value for our shareholders,” said Sandri.

Pilgrim’s Pride in 2019 acquired European company Tulip Limited, which was previously owned by Danish Crown, the largest pork producer in Europe. The Tulip acquisition expanded Pilgrim’s presence in Europe, which was established when Pilgrim’s acquired U.K. meat and poultry company Moy Park from JBS in 2017.

Earlier in 2017, Pilgrim’s Pride also acquired U.S. poultry producer GNP Company, which was previously owned by The Maschhoffs.

In 2015, Pilgrim’s Pride acquired Tyson Foods’ Mexican operations. Pilgrim’s Pride currently ranks as the second largest poultry company in the United States.

Sandri was promoted to president and CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride in September, succeeding Jayson Penn. Sandri has also served as the chief financial officer of Pilgrim’s since 2011, and he continues to hold that role on a temporary basis while the company looks for a successor.

Roy Graber is a senior reporter at WATT Global Media. Contact Graber via email at [email protected].

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