It has been announced that one of Europe’s leading poultry producers, Moy Park, has been acquired by Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation in a deal worth approximately $1.3 billion (£1 billion).

The transaction was unanimously approved by a Special Committee of the Pilgrim’s Board of Directors. Employing approximately 42,000 people, Pilgrim’s operates chicken processing plants and prepared-foods facilities in 14 states in America, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

The acquisition of Moy Park will help to 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, according to Pilgrim’s CEO, Bill Lovette.

“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,” he said.

‘A positive development for Moy Park’

This announcement represents a positive development for the Northern Irish company and all of its employees, the Chief Executive of Moy Park, Janet McCollum, added.

“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,” McCollum noted.

Overview of Moy Park

Founded in Northern Ireland in 1943, Moy Park has established a strong reputation for providing fresh, high-quality and locally-farmed poultry products.

As a top 10 UK food company and one of Europe’s leading poultry producers, the company deals with more than 800 farmers across the UK.

It reportedly processes more than 5.7 million birds per week and has 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.

As a result of the transaction, Pilgrim’s expects its annual revenue to increase by close to $2 billion (£1.5 billion).

Moy Park will remain headquartered in Craigavon, Co. Armagh and its management team, led by Janet McCollum, will continue to lead the business. The rest of the Moy Park employee base will also remain in place.

The company is set to operate as a business unit within Pilgrim’s and it will maintain its day-to-day operations and strategic focus.