JBS buys Canada meat plant whose tainted beef prompted recall

Wed Jan 9, 2013 5:20pm EST
 

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Brazilian meat processor JBS SA (JBSS3.SA: Quote) said on Wednesday it plans to buy the Western Canadian plant that last year produced beef that was tainted with E.coli bacteria, leading to one of Canada's largest ever meat recalls.

JBS Food Canada Inc intends to buy the XL Foods plant at Brooks, Alberta as well as other Canadian assets as of January 14. JBS Food Canada is a unit of JBS USA (JBS.N: Quote), a subsidiary of Brazil's JBS. Terms of the sale were not released.

JBS said it is awaiting a review from U.S. authorities before exercising an option to buy XL's U.S. operations, mainly a beef processing facility in Omaha, Nebraska.

JBS has managed the Alberta plant since it resumed operations on October 29, after a lengthy shutdown due to the recall of meat tainted with E.coli bacteria.

At least 18 people were sickened in Canada and the recall of beef products spread across Canada and most U.S. states.

The XL Foods plant, which is one of Canada's biggest beef plants along with two owned by Cargill Ltd CARGIL.UL, is currently owned privately by Nilsson Bros.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by David Gregorio)