JBS rejects criticism of market concentration
The poor financial state faced by small and medium-sized slaughterhouses after years of crisis in the sector is making it easier for JBS to acquire them. Twelve slaughterhouses in Mato Grosso and sixteen in Mato Grosso do Sul have been shut down. The company has closed at least four units in Mato Grosso. One is in the city of Colíder, where it leased a unit from Guaporé less than four months ago. Slaughterhouses have also been shut down in Vila Rica, Cáceres, and Pontes e Lacerda – a plant also leased from Guaporé.
The president of JBS, Wesley Batista, rejects the charge. "There is not one slaughterhouse that JBS has purchased or leased that was working and that we have closed down," he says. He argues that the plants in Vila Rica and Lacerda closed three years ago because they were considered inefficient and that the unit in Colíder was only leased because it was part of a package. "Guaporé would not lease separately," he explains. The plant in Lacerda, also leased from Guaporé, was closed but will reopen in the coming months, says the executive.
Batista says that a similar situation may happen in Mato Grosso do Sul, where the company may lease assets from Independência. Of the four plants included in the offer of R$ 268 million presented to creditors in Nova Andradina (MS), Senador Canedo (GO), Campo Grande (MS) and Rolim de Moura (RO), only the first two are of interest in the short term. The resumption of activities at the plant in Campo Grande, where JBS has two units, has been discarded. "If I could have bought them separately, I would have bought only the two units we consider to be strategic. But this was not possible and we had to look at the business as a whole," he argues.
Information provided by Valor Economico