Tyson Acquires Plants in Brazil and China

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Tyson Foods (www.tyson.com) took three Brazilian poultry factories under its wing in recent months, making more progress on its goal of expanding in emerging markets.

In September, the Springdale, Ark.-based animal protein company acquired Macedo Agroindustrial and Avicola Itaiopolis, both in the state of Santa Catarina, and a 70 percent stake in Frangobras in the state of Parana. Tyson said the companies are located near important ports and within key Brazilian production areas for soy and corn, key components of animal feed.

Just a week earlier, the company bought a 60 percent stake in Shandong Xinchang Group, with estimated 2009 sales of US $345 million. The acquisition is a vertically integrated poultry operation including a new poultry processing complex on the east coast of the Shandong Province. The name of the venture will be Shandong Tyson Xinchang Foods Company Ltd. It will be Tyson’s third investment in Chinese poultry producers.

About the same time, Tyson announced it would sell at least 20 million shares of its Class A common stock at a public offering price of $12.75 per share, primarily to pay for these overseas acquisitions. An entity controlled by Don Tyson, the company’s former chairman and a current director, will be purchasing 3 million shares in the offering.

Rick Greubel, Tyson's international president, said Brazil is the world's leading chicken exporter and third-largest chicken producer after the U.S. and China. “With the economic stability and a growing middle class, the per capita consumption of chicken will continue to increase in Brazil,” he said. “In addition, our Brazilian operations will give us greater access to markets that are currently buying little to no poultry from the U.S.”

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