Brazil's protein producer giant Minerva Foods issued a note to the market communicating the purchase of state-of-the-art Breeders and Packers Uruguay (BPU Meat) abattoir and processing plant for USD 40 million. The conclusion of the deal is still pending approval by the Uruguayan authorities.
BPU is a subsidiary of the NH Foods Group, based near the city of Durazno, in central Uruguay, and is one of the most modern meatpacking plants in Uruguay and South America.
The unit bought by Minerva has a slaughtering capacity of 1,200 cattle per day thanks to its cutting-edge technology, ensuring the highest quality and safety standards for the meat produced and exported in Uruguay.
“The Uruguayan meatpacking company sends approximately 85% of its sales to the international market, particularly to destinations with high-income that demand for premium products, and must comply with the strictest of sanitary conditions, such as Europe, the United States, Japan, South Korea, and China,” the market statement released on January 31 explains.
However the overall operation does come as a surprise, since close to 70% of Uruguay's meat processing operations will now be solidly under control of the Brazilian giants Minerva and Marfrig, and farmers associations fear there could be a collusion when it comes to cattle prices.
In effect, Minerva Foods is now the leader in beef production in Uruguay thanks to its most recent acquisition, with a total slaughtering capacity of 3,700 head of cattle per day, distributed across four processing plants, PUL, Carrasco, Canelones, and, now, BPU.
Uruguay is currently one of the largest global exporters of premium beef, accounting for approximately 5% of the market. The country is recognized globally for the tradition and quality of its products as well as its access to important consumer markets, because of decades long policy of imposing and implementing strict sanitary conditions.