The country’s largest pig producer has been purchased by Pilgrim’s Pride.
There was cautious optimism across the pig industry following news Tulip will be acquired by global meat giant Pilgrim’s, as it looks to establish itself as a ‘leading European food company’.
Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation announced it had signed a contract to acquire Tulip from Danish Crown in a deal which valued Tulip at £290 million.
Although its headquarters are in the US, it is owned by Brazilian meat giant JBS.
Pilgrim’s Pride already has a presence in the UK market, owning Northern Ireland-based Moy Park.
Global chief executive officer Jayson Penn said it positioned Pilgrim’s as a leading global prepared foods player and was the ‘next logical step’ for the company.
Dr Zoe Davies, chief executive of the National Pig Association (NPA), said it was generally being seen as a positive move, although it was early days.
“It was well known Danish Crown were trying to get shot of it,” she said.
“I would still be interested in what the strategic importance would be and what is going to happen.”
She added she hoped the company would be reinvesting in its facilities.
“I understand they see the UK has a good potential for exporting,” she said. “We have good trade deals with countries like China.”
Dr Davies said she could not see the deal having an immediate effect on UK production and she understood there was a deal in place to continue to take Danish product for a specific period of time.
“It is wait and see for the longer term. The general consensus in the industry is it is a good investment by a multi-national,” she said.