Tyson selling operations in Mexico, Brazil


LITTLE ROCK — Springdale-based Tyson Foods said Monday it will sell its poultry businesses in Mexico and Brazil for $575 million to help pay for its acquisition of Hillshire Brands.

The company said it has reached a definitive agreement with JBS SA to make the sale, which is subject to regulatory approval. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of the current calendar year.

Tyson’s Mexican business will be acquired through Pilgrim’s Pride, whose majority owner is JBS USA Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS SA. The Brazilian business is to be acquired through JBS Foods, also a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS SA.

JBS and Pilgrim’s Pride expect to maintain all the operations in Mexico and Brazil working to capacity with the existing workforce and to maintain all labor contracts in both countries, according to a news release from Tyson.

The Mexican business is known as Tyson de Mexico and is based in Gomez Palacio in North Central Mexico. It has three plants and employs more than 5,400 people in its plants, offices and seven distribution centers.

The Brazilian business is known as Tyson do Brasil and includes two plants in Santa Catarina and one in the state of Parana. It employs 5,000 people.

Tyson said it was never able to gain leading share positions in Mexico or Brazil. The company said it will remain focused on growing its poultry operations in Asia, which include three poultry plants in China and majority ownership of two poultry plants in India, employing a total of about 5,000 people.