Australia Australia's largest meat processor JBS buys Rivalea piggery in $175m deal
World's largest meat producer getting back online after cyber attack
It is unclear if the world's largest meat processing company has paid hackers a ransom to get its operations, including dozens of Australian facilities, back to work. © Getty JBS owns facilities in 20 countries. JBS is understood to have resumed most production after a weekend cyber attack, but experts say the vulnerabilities exposed by this attack and others are far from resolved. JBS said yesterday it had made “significant progress” and expected the “vast majority” of its plants to be operating today.
JBS will supply a third of Australia's pig meat after announcing it will buy Rivalea piggery in a $175 million deal.
The takeover represents a major purchase for JBS, which is the world's largest meat processor.
The Brazilian-based company employs more than 11,000 people in Australia and conducts more than a quarter of the nation's meat kill.
Rivalea, which was in Singaporean QAF Ltd's hands for 20 years, employs more than 1,200 people and produces pork on farms in Victoria and Southern New South Wales.
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Rivalea also owns abattoirs in Corowa and has a majority stake in Victoria's largest pig abattoir Diamond Valley Pork at Laverton in Melbourne.
It has brands, marketing and sales teams in Australia and South East Asia.
The new company owned by JBS would represent more than a third of Australia's pig kill and already some Australian pig producers are saying they are concerned about competition for pig meat.
JBS was already a major player in pork in Australia and a major producer of small goods after acquiring Primo in 2015.
This purchase of Rivalea is subject to regulatory approval by Australia's competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board.
In a statement, JBS Australia CEO Brent Eastwood said the company plans to invest in Rivalea.
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"The White House is engaging directly with the Russian government on this matter and delivering the message that responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals," Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Tuesday.The White House believes that the ransomware attack was carried out by a group of Russian cybercriminals and directly confronted the Russian government over the issue after being informed of the attack by JBS. It happened only weeks after a similar attack brought down the Colonial Pipeline, causing gas prices in parts of the country to surge and fears of shortages to come to fruition as panicked motorists flocked to pumps.
"Our acquisition of Rivalea will enable us to expand into the breeding, growing, fattening and finishing of pigs, an area where JBS Australia does not currently operate," Mr Eastwood said.
"We intend to grow the use of domestic pork in JBS Australia's operations, particularly within our Primo business, through further value-adding and processing, while unlocking new opportunities for Australian pork in international export markets," the statement said.
Farmers give takeover cautious thumbs up
North central Victorian pig farmer and president of the Victorian Farmers Federation pig group, Tim Kingma said the takeover was a significant development for the industry.
Mr Kingma hoped the JBS purchase of Rivalea will allow for more Australian pork to make its way onto supermarket shelves by way of processed products.
"So I would hope we can work with them to get more Aussie pork in our hams, in our salamis and all that processed meat and value-added meat," Mr Kingma said.
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Mr Kingma sends his pigs for processing to Diamond Valley Pork at Laverton and said he was not overly concerned about a potential lack of competition arising from the JBS takeover.
"I would hope that with JBS's strength in the world scene that they would increase exports and that would be another positive for our industry."
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