NEW YORK – Jeffries Financial Group closed the sale of its remaining 31 percent interest in National Beef Packing Co. LLC to Brazilian meat company Marfrig Global Foods S.A. earlier this week. The company first made the announcement on Nov. 17.

Following the announcement, the US Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) submitted a request to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for an investigation of Marfrig Global Foods’ large acquisition of US-based National Beef Packing Co.

When the purchase was completed, Marfrig’s ownership of National Beef jumped from 51 percent to 81.7 percent.

USCA called for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CIFUS) to fully review Marfrig’s acquisition of the US company and wants the outcomes to be made public.

"Today, nearly 30 million acres of US agricultural land is held by foreign investors,” said Kenny Graner, USCA president. “Once Americans lose out on that capacity – whether it be land, feedlots, meat processing facilities, or other resources – it may be that we will never have the opportunity to buy it back. In short, the growing trend of foreign interests acquiring US agricultural resources jeopardizes the ability of our nation to feed itself. In our view, this is a direct threat to our democracy.” 

Graner added that it wanted Mnuchin and the CIFUS to fulfill President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to put America first by ensuring the long-term sustainability in US farming and ranching families.

In June 2018, Marfrig acquired 51 percent of National Beef Packing. The deal made Marfrig the world’s second-largest beef processor with combined sales of $13 billion. In the original agreement, Jeffries said it would not sell its remaining shares for five years.

During May 2019, it was reported that BRF S.A. and Marfrig were open to a potential merger which did not materialize.