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Tyson Foods on Acquisition Trail

by 5m Editor
14 October 2008, at 9:37a.m.

INDIA - Tyson Foods, the largest US meat producer, said it plans to buy domestic companies and expand internationally as the global credit crisis roils financial markets, lowering the cost of potential acquisitions.

"We've got about $1.5 billion in the bank ready to take advantage of opportunities, whether they're domestic or they're in the three growth countries: Brazil, China and India," Chairman John Tyson has said in an interview reported by Business Standard of India.

Tyson Foods has a joint venture with Godrej Agrovet, the 12-billion rupee agri-business arm of the Godrej group, in India. The joint venture company, Godrej Tyson Foods, is involved in poultry product manufacturing and marketing.

"It's a smart move for Tyson as asset valuations have fallen a lot across the board and may come down further," commented Renee Tai, a consumer-goods analyst at CIMB-GK Securities in Hong Kong. "Companies that have a lot of cash like Tyson can take this chance to expand into new markets or increase market share at a cheaper price."

The company is also further expanding globally, said its chairman. "Brazil and China are significantly ahead of where India is, but there's a lot of potential in India also."

The company may buy poultry interests in the US if "it helps balance out customer needs," and it may also buy plants that prepare beef and pork products, Mr Tyson said, without identifying potential acquisition targets. "There's a Wall Street problem, and the rest of the country is running better than I think people are giving credit for."

Mr Tyson, who last month bought three chicken processors in Brazil, is in China to sign an agreement for a poultry venture with Shandong Xinchang Group Co., one of the country's top producers. The US company owns 60 per cent of the venture and will invest over $200 million in next two years Tyson said.

Arkansas-based Tyson Foods was founded in 1935 and employs 114,000 people in more than 300 facilities in the US and around the world. The company produces a range of poultry, beef and pork products, both for restaurant chains and retail sale 'Lower Risk,' the Business Standard report concludes.

5m Editor