Jefferies completes National Beef stake sale to Marfrig, USCA cries foul
By Rita Jane Gabbett on 12/3/2019
Jefferies Financial Group announced it closed the previously announced sale of its remaining 31% holdings in National Beef Packing Co. to Marfrig Global Foods and other shareholders. Jefferies received a total of about $970 million in cash, including concurrent distributions.
Meanwhile, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) submitted to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin a request for investigation of Marfrig’s near-acquisition of National Beef.
The sale raises Brazilian-owned Marfrig’s stake in National Beef from 51% to 81.7%. In 2018, Marfrig acquired a majority stake in National Beef.
“Our request for investigation of these actions by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States demands a full review of Marfrig Global Foods’ acquisition of U.S. companies, and calls for those outcomes to be explicitly written out and publicly published,” the group stated.
USCA President Kenny Graner issued this statement: "Today, nearly 30 million acres of U.S. agricultural land is held by foreign investors. Once Americans lose out on that capacity — whether it be land, feedlots, meat processing facilities or other resources — it may be that we will never have the opportunity to buy it back. In short, the growing trend of foreign interests acquiring U.S. agricultural resources jeopardizes the ability of our nation to feed itself. In our view, this is a direct threat to our democracy. We urge Secretary Mnuchin and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to fulfill President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to put America first by ensuring the long-term sustainability of America’s farming and ranching families."