Primo Group to be acquired by JBS Australia

Monday, 24 November, 2014

Smallgoods producer Primo Group is set to be acquired by Australia’s largest fresh meat processor, JBS Australia, for $1.45 billion. The deal includes Primo’s five processing plants across Australia and New Zealand, which employ more than 3000 staff.

JBS Australia is a subsidiary of JBS SA, the world’s largest processor of fresh meats. The company acquired Primo as part of its plant to grow its presence in value-added products.

“While it will remain very much business as usual for our employees, suppliers and customers, this transaction offers tremendous opportunities for a producer of high-quality products like Primo,” said Primo Group CEO Paul Hitchcock.

“We look forward to being part of JBS and capitalising on its international distribution network.”

Private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners has held a 70.1% stake in Primo Group since 2011. Since that time, Primo has built the largest high-care food manufacturing facility in Australia and acquired Premier Beehive, a leading New Zealand ham and bacon business.

“Paul Lederer, his family and employees built an iconic Australian business and brand and we have been honoured to have been part of Primo’s journey,” said Brett Sutton, head of Australia & New Zealand for Affinity Equity Partners.

“Now, as part of JBS, whose core business is processing protein products for the world, Primo will be positioned for even stronger growth over the long term.”

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

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