Minerva to reopen beef plant closed in 2015

Minerva reportedly axed over 700 jobs when it closed the Mirassol D’Oeste factory

Brazilian meatpacker Minerva SA will reopen its Mirassol D’Oeste cattle slaughterhouse in July, nearly two years after it shut the plant and axed hundreds of jobs.

Minerva did not specify how many jobs would be created by reopening the plan that can slaughter and debone around 1,100 cattle per day.

It said the plant will resume activities from the middle of July 2017 and that it will keep the market informed of developments.

When Minerva confirmed plans to shut the Mirassol D’Oeste plant, based in Brazil’s western state of Mato Grosso, in July 2015, local media reported as many as 701 jobs would be cut. A statement from Minerva at the time did not mention job cuts, stating only it was “paralysing” the plant to improve efficiency and boost profit by rebalancing its assets.

Expansion push underway?

Minerva will reopen the slaughterhouse in an ambitious attempt to gain ground in Brazil’s meat industry as its crisis-hit rival JBS aims to balance the ship after a turbulent few months, according to local media.

JBS is considered one of the biggest meatpackers in the world and this month sold its beef subsidiaries in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay to Minerva for $300m.

And earlier this week Minerva confirmed it wanted to raise $350m in capital via a notes issuing. Net proceeds from the sale would be used to finance takeovers or pay off existing debt, the company said in a statement.

This, combined with the JBS takeovers, suggests Minerva may planning an expansion push across South America, although this has not been confirmed by the company.

Any grab for market share comes as meat companies in Brazil look to move on from the ‘Weak Flesh’ tainted meat scandal that seriously damaged the reputation of the country’s meat industry.

Minerva, alongside BRF and JBS, claims to be one of Brazil’s big three meat processors and a leader in South America operating in the beef, pork and poultry sectors.

Minerva could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

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