American food company Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation has announced it has acquired Moy Park from JBS S.A., in a deal valuing the equity interest of Moy Park at approximately $1 billion (£790 million) and implying an enterprise value of approximately $1.3 billion (or approximately £1.0 billion).

The move will “position Pilgrim’s to become a global player”, as according to the company’s chief executive officer, Bill Lovette, “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 added: “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.”

Pilgrim’s employs approximately 42,000 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared-foods facilities in 14 states in America, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Following the acquisition, Moy Park will remain headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, while the Moy Park management team, led by chief executive Janet McCollum, will continue to lead the business, and the rest of the Moy Park employee base will remain in place.

It will also operate as a business unit within Pilgrim’s and will maintain its day-to-day operations and strategic focus.

McCollum commented: “This announcement is a positive development for Moy Park and all our colleagues employed across the business.

“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.”