Edmonton, Alta. – In a surprise move, XL Foods has announced that management of its troubled XL Lakeside plant will be taken over by Greeley, Colo.-based JBS USA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Brazil’s JBS S.A.
According to XL Foods co-CEO Brian Nilsson, the move is a positive step towards re-licensing of the Brooks, Alta. plant.
The agreement gives JBS the exclusive option to buy the Canadian and U.S. feedlots and processing plants of privately owned XL Foods. If JBS decides to purchase these assets, the company will pay USD$50 million in cash and USD$50 million in JBS S.A. shares. JBS will not assume any of XL Foods’ debt or liabilities.
The 4,000 head-a-day Brooks facility at the centre of the E. coli contamination remains shuttered, and according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is likely to stay closed until next week when the agency is expected to make recommendations on next steps.
JBS S.A. is one of the world’s largest beef processing businesses, with annual sales of more than $30 billion.