BRF to Acquire Thai Chicken Processor Golden Foods Siam

Itajaí, Brazil-headquartered BRF SA, the world's largest exporter of chicken products, has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire Golden Foods Siam (GFS), one of Thailand’s leading manufacturers and marketers of value-added cooked chicken products, for US $360 million.

The deal includes GFS assets in Europe as well as in Thailand, reported Augusto Riberio Junior, chief financial officer and investment relations officer.

On December 1 the company also made a binding offer to buy Universal Meats, a UK distributor of foodservice products, for £34 million, and Eclipse Holding Cooperatief UA, a Dutch concern that controls Campo Austral, a group of companies with fully integrated business operations in the pork segment in Argentina, for $85 million.

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Navis Capital Partners, the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based private equity firm that has owned GFS (formerly the Thai division of UK-headquartered Grampian Country Food Group) since 2009, had reportedly been looking for a buyer since the summer.

GFS logoIn business for 24 years, Golden Foods Siam has capacity to produce up to 4,000 metric tons of finished products per month at two state-of-the-art plants in Ongkarak, Nakorn Nayok. Frozen items ranging from coated and fried chicken cuts, to skewered specialties, to roasted, grilled and steamed products are exported to retail, foodservice and industrial buyers around the world.

Navis Capital Partners reportedly paid between $50 million and $100 million for the unit to Holland-headquartered Vion NV (the world’s third largest meat processing company), which acquired Grampian operations in 2008.

BRF has been on a buying spree and expansion drive of late, having paid $43 million for a meat processing business in Argentina in October and invested $19 million to secure a 49% share in a food processing joint venture in Singapore.

In the Middle East, less than a year after investing approximately $160 million to open a 1.6-million-square-foot food processing plant in the United Arab Emirates, it has announced expansion plans well ahead of schedule. The factory, strategically positioned adjacent to the deep water port in the Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad) of Abu Dhabi, produces a wide range of value-added frozen poultry and red meat items as well as pizza products.

The additional production capacity is needed to meet both rising demand from the company’s established regional customer base and to supply growing markets in North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

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"The expansion will increase current annual production of 72,000 tons to 100,000 tons by the end of 2016,” said Pedro Faria, global ceo of the company. "We will increase the number of lines of products at the factory to meet the various demands of each market."

BRF, which produces the Sadia, Perdigão and Qualy brands, is one of the largest food manufacturers in the world. The company employs approximately 96,000 people at factories in Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, Holland, the United Arab Emirates, and soon Thailand, and operates more than 20 distribution centers. With market capitalization of $14.75 billion, last year it shipped exports to more than 120 countries.