The world’s largest meatpacking company, JBS, shrunk last week due to selling off its massive cattle feedlot operation — the most recent asset that the Brazil-based company has sold after becoming mired in multiple corruption scandals.
New York-based private asset management firm, Pinnacle Asset Management, bought Five River Cattle Feeding for approximately $200 million, according to a March 16 news release.
Red River Cattle Feeding is one of the largest cattle-feeding operations in the world, with about 920,000 head of cattle kept in 11 feedlots located in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and Idaho.
Five Rivers Cattle Feeding will keep its current management team and supply cattle to JBS beef processing plants, the news release said. The company has more than 600 employees.
JBS USA CEO Andre Nogueira said in a statement that it’s a “strategic move,” that will allow the company “to more efficiently deploy working capital and focus on the company’s core food and value-added products businesses.”
Harvest Public Media previously reported that in 2017, the Brazilian government accused JBS of bribing government inspectors to ignore health and food safety violations. Another corruption probe revealed that JBS allegedly received favorable loans from Brazil’s federal bank dating back to 2007, allowing JBS to expand rapidly around the world, including the U.S.
In May 2017, JBS chairman Joesley Batista and his brother, Wesley Batista, settled with federal prosecutors, agreeing to pay the Brazilian government a $3.2 billion fine. Soon after, JBS announced they would sell a large Brazilian dairy company, a poultry processor in Europe and their US based cattle feedlot operation.
Follow Esther on Twitter: @estherhonig