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NH Foods buys stake in Uruguay beef business

NH Foods has been described as one of the world's leading food processors

Japanese meat processor Nipponham Foods (NH Foods) has made its second move in South America through a multi-million dollar takeover of Breeders & Packers Uruguay (BPU). 

NH Foods acquired major Uruguayan beef processor and exporter BPU in a deal widely reported to be around $130m.

Founded by UK-born Terence Johnson, BPU employs around 700 people in Uruguay and claims to operate the country’s “leading meat-processing plant”.

The NH Foods takeover represents an “important step” for the business, signalling a “commitment to Uruguay, its productive quality and its access to the most demanding markets”, BPU CEO Daniel de Mattos said in a statement.

NH Foods Group is one of the world’s “leading” food processors, according to Mattos. The multinational company owns 157 farms on land and sea, 100 meat processing plants, three research centres with operations in 18 countries, excluding Japan

When the deal was reported last week, some media outlets said the takeover was NH Foods’ first foray in South America, but this was incorrect; the firm operates pork brand Andes Kogen-buta in a joint venture with Agrosuper – the largest pig farming business in Chile.

It is, however, NH Foods’ first takeover of a Uruguayan meat processor and comes as the country’s aims to regain Japanese market access for beef exports.

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