ITALY – JBS, the world’s largest animal protein company, is extending its leadership position with acquisition of two Italian meat companies, King’s Group and Principe. 

The deal which is valued at US$92.5 million was made by JBS -owned subsidiary Rigamonti, currently the leader in the production of bresaola. 

With the acquisition, Rigamonti will take charge of four plants in Italy (two in Parma, one in Vicenza and one in Udine). 

The entire operation of Principe in the US, which includes a plant dedicated to slicing cuts in New Jersey, will also be incorporated into Rigamonti. 

JBS says the acquisition will strengthen its presence in the US and Europe, as well as its production and distribution of authentic Italian meats such as prosciutto, bresaola, bologna sausage, speck and salami. 

Founded in 1907, King’s Group is recognized by the Italian government as a ‘historical brand of national interest’.  

King’s produces Prosciutto di San Daniele, a protected designation of origin (DOP) product, as well as Prosciutto di Parma DOP and specialities like GranSpeck and Prosciutto Veneto DOP.  

These classifications are important selling points as they are used by the European Union to recognize the quality and unique characteristics of food produced in specific locations. 

Meanwhile, Principe, founded in 1945, produces traditional deli meats such as cooked ham, salami and prosciutto.  

Claudio Palladi, Rigamonti CEO, said : “We are certain that JBS will work to preserve the intangible value of our brands and products with certification of origin, protecting the history of these veritable items of Italian heritage as it has already done with Rigamonti”. 

The acquisition of King’s Group facilities and brands is strategic to the expansion of JBS in the United States and Europe, but also in other regions. 

The company will now have a portfolio and structure for producing and distributing authentic Italian specialties like prosciutto, bresaola, bologna sausage, speck, and salami with certification of origin, using craft manufacturing and curing techniques. 

“This acquisition is in line with our strategic approach of growing in high value-added products,” said Gilberto Tomazoni, JBS global CEO. 

“It puts us among the leaders in Italian ‘salumeria’ and leverages our commercial strategy in the US, where we are investing US$200 million in an Italian specialities plant.” 

The deal has been approved by the JBS board of directors nis expected to be concluded after approval by antitrust authorities. 

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