Thursday, October 19, 2017

Asset freeze closes seven JBS packing plants

Seven beef-packing plants in Brazil’s second-largest beef-industry region have been closed because courts have frozen the assets of JBS and the company that holds controlling interest in its shares.

The company, whose owners face corruption and insider trading charges, said a combined 730 million reais (C$287.5 million) had been frozen by a lower court in the state.

The freeze is related to a tax break the state granted JBS.

Joesley and Wesley Batista, who hold controlling interest in JBS, have admitted bribing politicians to gain favours for JBS, and are facing hefty fines for bribery and now face possible jail time for insider trading.

JBS said it was working to restore operations and maintain 15,000 direct and 60,000 indirect jobs in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. It will continue paying employees normally, the statement said.

JBS is the world’s largest meat-packing business. In Canada it owns XL Packers of Alberta.