BRAZIL – Tyson Food has reached an agreement to acquire a 40 percent stake in the foods division of Grupo Vibra, a Brazilian producer and exporter of poultry products, for an undisclosed sum.

Once completed, the deal will give Tyson Foods more flexibility in serving customers in key global markets. The transaction is still subject to approval by Brazilian regulators.

As part of the agreement, Grupo Vibra will spin-off its genetics multiplication business, Agrogen, into a separate company.

“This investment will enable us to access poultry supplies in Brazil to meet the growing needs of Brazilian customers and of priority demand markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East,” said Donnie King, group president, international & chief administration officer for Tyson Foods.

“It’s part of our strategy to develop a more flexible supply chain and mitigate the volatility of our previous model, which relied primarily on U.S. exports.”

Flavio Sergio Wallauer, chairman of the board for Grupo Vibra added: “this agreement is the result of the mutual trust between our two companies and the goal of both companies to expand globally.

“We also both believe in the importance of constantly adding value to our products. For us, this includes continuing to grow, innovate and strengthen the position of our brands, Nat and Avia.”

Grupo Vibra currently serves customers in Brazil as well as more than 50 countries around the world.

“Tyson will add know-how and new business opportunities to speed up our growth,” said Gerson Luís Müller, CEO of Grupo Vibra.

“This partnership will be important to further develop our businesses in Brazil and foreign markets, granting access to new technologies and investments mainly in R&D.

“We will capitalize on a global distribution network to reach new markets. We trust that this agreement will strongly contribute to improve the quality of our services, adding new products to our portfolio offered to clients and consumers.”

According to the Tyson Foods, it is estimated that nearly 98 percent of protein consumption growth will happen outside the U.S. over the next five years.

“That’s why we’re growing our business outside the U.S.,” said King. “As the world population continues to grow, Tyson will grow with it.”

Tyson Foods has been aggressively expanding its global presence marked by investments in various markets including the acquisition of Keystone Foods, which as presence in China, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia.

The company has also acquired BRF’s poultry businesses in Thailand and Europe.

Tyson Foods currently generates $7 billion in international sales annually. This includes $5 billion in U.S. export sales and about $2 billion in in-country revenues.