Australia OKs sale of Primo to Brazilian beef giant IBS

SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) — Australian regulators have approved a bid by the U.S. arm of Brazilian beef giant JBS to acquire Australian Consolidated Food Holdings Pty Ltd. (Primo) for an undisclosed sum.

The approval by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, subject to conditions at Primo’s abattoir, allows the purchase to move ahead.

Australian law requires FIRB approval for any investment by a foreign firm in a domestic company that is worth more than US $197 million.

The merger of the world’s largest processer of fresh beef and pork with Australia’s largest producer of ham, bacon and pork products comes as Australia has set a goal of becoming Asia’s food basket.

“The government welcomes foreign investment in Australia and continues to ensure that investments are consistent with Australia’s national interest,” Australian government treasurer Joe Hockey said.

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