Breaking: Pilgrim’s Pride confirms £290m Tulip purchase

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation has announced the completion of the its acquisition of Tulip Ltd from Danish Crown.

The transaction, announced in August, had been subject to competition approval. Tulip Ltd will now operate as a business unit within Pilgrim’s.

The transaction was unanimously approved by the Pilgrim’s Board of Directors and was funded with cash on hand, valuing Tulip Ltd at £290 million.

US-based Pilgrim’s, owned by Brazilian met giant JBS, purchased leading UK poultry business Moy Park last year. It employs approximately 51,400 people and operates chicken processing plants and prepared-foods facilities in 14 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and continental Europe. The company’s primary distribution is through retailers and foodservice distributors.

Tulip is the UK’s largest pig producer and operates 12 production facilities throughout the UK. It employees more than 6,000 people and provides a wide range of innovative, quality meat products to the retail and foodservice sectors.

Commenting in August, Jayson Penn, Pilgrim’s global chief executive officer, said the acquisition  ‘positions Pilgrim’s as a leading global prepared foods player’. “The transaction represents the logical next step in our evolution to expand our geographical footprint, enhance our value-added portfolio and reduce volatility across our business with a more stable margin profile,” he said.

He welcomed ‘the talented Tulip Limited team members and management team’, led by Andrew Cracknell, to the Pilgrim’s family. “

Mr Cracknell, who was appointed as Tulip CEO last autumn to oversee a ‘major transformation’ of the business, said: “Pilgrim’s is acquiring an industry-leading farming operation, a strong team of dedicated people and a network of well-invested manufacturing sites.

“The Tulip Limited leadership team and I look forward to working with our new colleagues to build upon the fantastic progress made within the business and realise our combined growth opportunities as we enter an exciting new phase.”

Under terms of the agreement, Danish Crown will continue to supply Danish pork to Tulip under a long-term supply agreement. In November 2018, Danish Crown said its UK arm was ‘dragging down’ its results, after Tulip posted a loss of £31 in 2017/18, following on from a £27m loss the previous year.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.