SÃO PAULO – JBS signed an agreement to acquire Italian deli meat manufacturer Grupo King’s for 82 million euros ($92.5 million). Grupo King’s will be incorporated by its subsidiary Rigamonte. The JBS board of directors unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to approval by antitrust authorities.
Rigamonte, a leading producer of Bresaola I.G.P., will control four Grupo King’s factories in Italy, two in the province of Parma, one in Vicenza and one in Udine, in addition to the entire US operation, which includes a plant dedicated to slicing parts in New Jersey. Rigamonti also acquired a 20% stake in Piggly, Italy’s first sustainable and 100% antibiotic-free pig breeder, with units in Mantova and Verona.
The acquisition gives JBS a presence in the three largest regions of Italy producing cold cuts with D.O.P. and I.G.P. seals (Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication), classifications used by the European Union to recognize the quality and unique characteristics of products and foods manufactured in specific localities. Overall, Grupo King’s has market presence in the United States and more than 20 countries.
The Grupo King’s brand was founded in 1907 in Sossano, in the Veneto region of Italy, and which has the recognition of the Italian government as the “Historical Mark of National Interest,” and the Príncipe brand, founded in 1945 in Trieste, in the Friulli-Venezia Giulia region. Grupo King’s is a leading producer of Prosciutto di San Daniele D.O.P. and Prosciutto di Parma D.O.P. The company produces specialties such as GranSpeck and Prosciutto Veneto D.O.P.
“We are sure that JBS will act to preserve the intangible value of our brands and our products with certification of origin, contributing to the protection of the history of these true Italian assets in the way it has already done with Rigamonti,” said Claudio Palladi, chief executive officer of Rigamonti.
JBS said the acquisition aligns with the company’s expansion strategy in the United States, Europe and other regions, because the company now has a portfolio and production and distribution structure of authentic Italian specialties such as prosciutto, bresaola, mortadela, speck and salame with certification of origin, using artisanal manufacturing and curing techniques.
JBS also expects to gain more synergy in the United States, where its subsidiary Swift Prepared Foods is building a new Italian specialty plant in Columbia, Mo. The facility is expected to go live in 2022.
“This acquisition follows the strategic direction of growing in products of very high added value,” said Gilberto Tomazoni, JBS global CEO. “It puts us among the leaders of the Italian salumeria and leverages the commercial strategy in the United States, where we are investing $200 million in an Italian specialty factory. King’s and Príncipe brands have great growth potential in Europe and the United States.”