Brazil’s BRF denies Americana bid, buys Al Yasra

By Eliot Beer

- Last updated on GMT

BRF was in talks with Americana at the start of the year, but no agreement was made
BRF was in talks with Americana at the start of the year, but no agreement was made

Related tags Brf Kohlberg kravis roberts Private equity Kuwait

Brazilian food giant BRF has denied it has joined a bid to buy Kuwait’s Americana, weeks after it bought a 75% stake in Al Yasra Foods, its Kuwaiti distributor, for US$160m.

According to Bloomberg, BRF had teamed up with existing contenders KKR & Co and CVC Capital Partners to make a joint bid for Kuwait Food Company, better known as Americana. But BRF has issued a formal statement to the Brazilian stock market saying there is no truth to the Bloomberg report.

The … article states that the Company, together with private equity firms, has made an offer for the acquisition of the entire share capital of Americana, a food company established in Kuwait. BRF informs that differently from what the report suggests, the Company has not participated, neither is participating in any joint offer of acquisition of interest in Americana​,” said the statement.

Exclusive distribution

BRF concluded the purchase of its 75% stake in Al Yasra late last month, after agreeing the deal in August, according to the company. While Al Yasra will continue to operate independently, BRF will now be its sole supplier of food products.

Al Yasra is a leader in food distribution in the State of Kuwait, covering the sectors of retail and food services, with presence in frozen, chilled and dry segments. The company has been distributing BRF’s products for 20 years, in addition to a wide range of products from other brands and suppliers​,” said Augusto Ribeiro Júnior, chief financial and investors relation officer at BRF.

[BRF] will leverage Al Yasra’s world-class logistics infrastructure and long-lasting relationships, as well as BRF’s supply chain efficiencies, strong brands and product development expertise for the purpose of continuing to serve and grow in the local market​,” he added.

Failed talks

The Brazilian firm was in talks with Americana at the start of the year​ over a possible joint venture. However, reports over the summer suggested the firms had been unable to come to an agreement.

New management doesn’t want something that you could swallow but might be difficult to digest​,” said BRF chief executive Claudio Galeazzi in a Washington Post report from June.

We’re coming back only if it becomes a reasonably dead chicken​,” he added according to the Washington Post, which noted the phrase “dead chicken​” is a Brazilian expression meaning “easy target​”.

Last month Americana confirmed its largest shareholder, the Kharafi family, was looking to sell its shares, ending months of speculation. Before its shares on the Kuwait Stock Exchange were suspended, Americana was valued at around US$4.3bn.

Other companies known to be considering bids include Saudi Arabia’s Savola Group and private equity firm TPG Capital Management.

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