In this file:

 

·         XL Foods Takeover: Alberta To Allow JBS Canada To Buy Troubled Beef Plant

… The province has approved an exemption to its Foreign Ownership of Lands Regulation, which allows JBS Canada to formally purchase the XL Foods operation in Brooks, Alta…

 

·         Antitrust Review Sought for JBS Takeover of XL Beef Units

About 40 agricultural and consumer groups have asked the U.S. Justice Department for an expanded, in-depth antitrust review of the possible takeover of XL Four Star Beef Holdings in the United States by Greeley, CO-based JBS, USA…

 

·         JBS one step closer to purchasing XL Foods Lakeside

… Calgary Stockyards’ Bryan Danard said he believes a JBS takeover is good news for the immediate future, he questions whether the international meat-packing giant is interested in Brooks for the long haul…

 

 

XL Foods Takeover: Alberta To Allow JBS Canada To Buy Troubled Beef Plant

 

CP  |  By The Canadian Press

via The Huffington Post - 12/28/2012

 

EDMONTON - The Alberta government has cleared the way for a subsidiary of a Brazilian-based agri-food giant to buy a meat packing plant that was at the centre of the largest meat recall in Canadian history.

 

The province has approved an exemption to its Foreign Ownership of Lands Regulation, which allows JBS Canada to formally purchase the XL Foods operation in Brooks, Alta.

 

JBS took over management of XL Foods in October with an option to buy after an E. coli bacteria outbreak led to the recall.

 

Normally, the regulation limits foreign interests from owning more than two parcels of rural land of no more than eight hectares each.

 

But Mike Berezowsky, a spokesman for Service Alberta, says an exemption can be granted if there's an economic benefit to the province.

 

The government's order-in-council approving the exemption was approved Dec. 21, but was only made public Thursday. (CKUA)

 

source url

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/12/28/xl-foods-takeover-jbs-canada_n_2375735.html

 

 

Antitrust Review Sought for JBS Takeover of XL Beef Units

 

By Dan Flynn | Food Safety News by Marler Clark

December 28, 2012

 

About 40 agricultural and consumer groups have asked the U.S. Justice Department for an expanded, in-depth antitrust review of the possible takeover of XL Four Star Beef Holdings in the United States by Greeley, CO-based JBS, USA.

 

The request came in a Dec. 21 letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Renata B. Hesse, the acting assistant attorney general for the antitrust division.

 

JBS has taken over management of the five XL facilities in the U.S. and Canada, including the Brooks, Alberta Lakeside plant that was the center of an E. coli crisis. JBS has an option to purchase the facilities within six months, a move that would make it the largest beef producer in North America.

 

“We believe this proposed merger would reduce competition and seriously harm both cattle producers and consumers,” the group letter says. “We therefore request that no early termination of the antitrust evaluation regarding the acquisition of the two U.S.-based packing plants be granted and that the Justice Department make a second request for information to extend the investigation.”

 

The agricultural and consumer groups point to the Justice Department’s 2008 denial of JBS’s attempt to acquire the National Beef Packing Company, the fourth largest U.S. beef packer. That decision was “a historic event that marked a long-awaited turning point in the unmitigated trend toward price-distorting, oligopolistic meatpacking concentration nationally,” the groups said.

 

To allow JBS, currently the nation’s third largest beef producer, to expand would be a retreat from that 2008 decision, according those who signed the letter.

 

Signers include several state and national cattlemen’s groups, consumer groups like the Cornucopia Institute and Food and Water Watch, and farm groups like the National Farmers Union and the National Family Farm Coalition.

 

JBS, USA has not yet said whether or not it will exercise the purchase option and conclude the deal valued about $100 million.

 

source url

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/12/jbs-usa-take-over-of-xls-beef-needs-antitrust-review-groups-say/#.UN3K5HfIn68

 

 

JBS one step closer to purchasing XL Foods Lakeside

 

By Amanda Stephenson, Calgary Herald

December 28, 2012 8:33 AM

 

CALGARY - Meat-packing giant JBS-USA is one step closer to purchasing the Brooks facility that was the centre of a tainted meat scandal earlier this year.

 

While a spokesperson for the subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS said a deal has not yet been finalized, the company is pursuing the regulatory approvals required for it to assume ownership of XL Foods’ Lakeside packing plant. On Dec. 21, the provincial government cleared the way under Alberta’s “Foreign Ownership of Land” rules for JBS to acquire the property and adjacent feedlot.

 

“We’re going through the appropriate regulatory process,” said Cameron Bruett, spokesperson for JBS-USA. “We will of course notify the market when we finalize that acquisition.”

 

JBS assumed management of the Brooks plant in October, following an E. coli scare that resulted in the largest beef recall in Canadian history. As part of their $100 million deal with XL Foods’ embattled owners — Edmonton-based Nilsson Bros. — JBS also obtained an exclusive option to buy the plant as well as packing facilities in Calgary, Nebraska and Idaho.

 

Alberta’s “Foreign Ownership of Land” regulations put limits on the amount of agricultural land that can be foreign-owned, unless a clear benefit to the province — economic or otherwise — can be demonstrated.

 

David Chalack, board chair of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, said the other regulatory hurdle JBS will have to clear is the federal Competition Bureau, which must be notified of potential transactions of this size and significance. Chalack said he expects if that green light is granted, JBS’s purchase of the Brooks plant will be “imminent.”

 

“I think it’s very good news,” Chalack said. “It gives stability to the cattle industry, and that’s important.”

 

During the height of the E. coli scare, when the XL Foods plant was temporarily shuttered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, cattle prices fell and ranchers had to either pay more to ship their cattle to other plants or lose money by holding on to cattle that were ready for slaughter. The Brooks plant, a 43,000 square foot facility, processes about one-third of Canada’s overall beef production.

 

JBS’s entry onto the scene was welcomed by many in the cattle industry who feared serious repercussions if XL Foods did not reopen.

 

But while Calgary Stockyards’ Bryan Danard said he believes a JBS takeover is good news for the immediate future, he questions whether the international meat-packing giant is interested in Brooks for the long haul.

 

“It is just one of 300 plants they own worldwide,” Danard said. “If it’s not economically making sense, I don’t think they’ll hesitate to shut it down. The packing business is very tough in Canada, so it wouldn’t be shocking if this happened down the road.”

 

Chalack disagreed, arguing a major international player is best placed to weather the ups and downs of a challenging industry.

 

“The larger the operation, the more global they are ... the better their management likely is, and the deeper their pockets. What local owner is going to sustain losses for very long?” Chalack said. “Sometimes the international guys have a little more staying power.”

 

The National Farmers’ Union has called for more competition in the Canadian meat-packing industry, saying the country’s processing plants are too large and too powerful...

 

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http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/step+closer+purchasing+Foods+Lakeside/7750099/story.html