Pilgrim's Pride Corp., Greeley, Colo., acquired Moy Park, a poultry and prepared foods supplier with operations in the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, from JBS S.A. for approximately $1.3 billion.

"We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Moy Park, which will position Pilgrim's to become a global player, with an improved and more stable margin profile on the chicken business and an expanded portfolio of prepared foods," says Bill Lovette, Pilgrim's chief executive officer. "Following our successful acquisitions of GNP and the assets in Mexico, Moy Park represents a logical next step in the evolution of our geographical and brands footprint. The acquisition gives us access to the attractive UK and European markets, which advances our strategy of diversifying our portfolio to be more global while reducing volatility across our businesses. We will have new business opportunities through the addition of Moy Park's fully integrated poultry production platform and its strong presence in prepared foods. Moy Park strengthens Pilgrim's' leading portfolio of brands and brings strong value-added innovation capabilities, access to new markets, a best-in-class production platform and strong farmer-partner relationships. In addition, Moy Park shares Pilgrim's long-standing commitment to become the best and most respected company in our industry."

"This announcement is a positive development for Moy Park and all our colleagues employed across the business,” adds Janet McCollum, chief executive of Moy Park. “Pilgrim's is one of the leading chicken producers in the world with a proven track record, and we see great opportunities for Moy Park as part of this successful business. Joining Pilgrim's gives us the opportunity to accelerate our growth plans, share best practices and leverage Pilgrim's expertise and operational excellence. Moy Park will provide Pilgrim's with a platform for growth in Europe as well as access to innovation and increased exposure to prepared foods. Both Moy Park and Pilgrim's have a long heritage in agriculture and poultry production going back over 70 years, and we share the same values. We look forward to this new and exciting phase of Moy Park's development, as we continue to meet and exceed the needs of our customers and consumers, providing fresh, locally-sourced poultry and top-quality, innovative products."

Moy Park provides fresh, high-quality and locally farmed poultry products, and brings to Pilgrim's a fully integrated, market-leading platform with more than 800 farmers across the UK. Moy Park processes more than 5.7 million birds per week and maintains 13 processing plants located in the UK, Ireland, France and the Netherlands, supplying major food retailers and restaurant chains in the UK and Continental Europe.

Moy Park will remain headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. McCollum will continue to lead the Moy Pork business, and the rest of the Moy Park employee base will remain in place. Moy Park will operate as a business unit within Pilgrim's, and will maintain its day-to-day operations and strategic focus.