By Colin Kellaher

 

Shares of Pilgrim's Pride Corp. rose more than 20% in early trading Friday after majority owner JBS S.A. proposed shelling out nearly $1.3 billion to buy the rest of the chicken processor.

Under the proposal, Sao Paolo-based JBS said it would pay $26.50 a share in cash for the 19.8% of Pilgrim's Pride it doesn't already, a 17% premium to Thursday's closing price of $22.68 for the Greeley, Colo., company.

Pilgrim's Pride shares were recently up 21.3% to $27.51, above the JBS bid, indicating that investors may think a better deal can be had.

But JBS, which in late 2009 acquired a majority stake in Pilgrim's Pride under the U.S. company's bankruptcy reorganization plan, said it is only interested in acquiring full ownership of the second-largest U.S. chicken processor, and that it isn't interested in selling its holdings.

The move by JBS comes after Cargill Inc. and agricultural-investment firm Continental Grain Co. earlier this week said they reached a deal to buy Sanderson Farms Inc., the country's third-biggest chicken producer, for around $4.5 billion. The JBS proposal values Pilgrim's Pride at roughly $6.46 billion.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 13, 2021 10:14 ET (14:14 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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