Australia’s FIRB approves JBS purchase of salmon producer Huon

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A statement to the ASX on Monday said the Foreign Investment Review Board had no objection to the acquisition. JBS Australia welcomed FIRB’s decision.

The takeover bid, announced in August, valued the company founded by Tasmanians Peter and Frances Bender at about $550 million, including debt. It offered shareholders $3.85 per share.

Read more: Meat giant JBS acquires Huon

Huon shareholders will vote at a Scheme Meeting on 29 October, after which JBS said it would actively engage with key government, business and community stakeholders and the Huon team and its customers.

In a statement issued on Monday afternoon, JBS said it had a strong track record of investing in and growing Australian businesses, local jobs and exports.

“We employ more than 11,000 Australians, many of whom live and work in regional and rural towns and communities. We have grown all of the businesses we have acquired in Australia and JBS is committed to doing the same with Huon.”

Huon delivered a full-year statutory loss of $128 million in 2020-21, blaming a “turbulent year” affected by a fish pen fire, the mysterious disappearance of tonnes of salmon from a New South Wales processing plant and soaring freight costs.