Sao Paulo-based beef producer Marfrig Alimentos to sell its distribution unit for US$400M to Illinois-based Martin-Brower, to be completed in Q4; CEO says proceeds will reinforce cash position

LOS ANGELES , September 21, 2011 () – Brazil’s Marfrig Alimentos SA is selling its distribution unit to Martin-Brower Co. for US$400 million, Bloomberg reported Sept. 19.

The distribution unit consists of 29 centers that serve McDonald’s Corp. in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Oceania.

CEO Marcos Molina said the company wanted to focus on its meat business and might use the sale proceeds to cut debt and reinforce its cash position.

The company will not use the proceeds for acquisitions, Molina said.

Alan Alanis, an analyst with JPMorgan Chase & Co. said the firm is concerned the proceeds will be used to acquire assets put on sale by poultry exporter Brasil Foods SA in July. Alanis gave Marfrig’s stock a neutral rating.

Four of Marfrig’s 29 beef plants, about 13% of total capacity, remain close as livestock numbers remain low.

The primary source of this article is Bloomberg, New York, New York, on Sept. 19, 2011.

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