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Colorado-Based Meat Industry Giant JBS To Go Public

Stephanie Paige Ogburn
Cattle wait in a holding pen outside JBS's Greeley, Colorado beef processing plant.

JBS USA, a major Northern Colorado employer and big player in the country’s agricultural economy, is going public.

Its Brazilian parent company, JBS SA, spun off a new entity for its foreign holdings called JBS Foods International, based in the Netherlands. JBS announced on Dec. 5 that it’s planning on selling shares of the new Dutch company on the New York Stock Exchange in the first half of 2017.

Officials at JBS have yet to disclose how large a stake of the company will be sold.

JBS is a giant in the meatpacking industry, churning out beef, pork, chicken, lamb and leather in factories across the country and around the world. The company owns a suite of meat-related brands including Swift, Gold Kist Farms, Aspen Ridge and Pilgrim’s Pride.

JBS has a sizeable footprint in Colorado — about 4,700 workers across the company’s headquarters, beef processing plant and collection of cattle feedlots in the state.

The initial public offering, or IPO, marks a fundamental change for the privately-held and family-run company. Going public often brings an influx of cash from new investors, but will also layer on more scrutiny, forcing the company to disclose more information to investors and the public. and possibly to conform to more federal regulations. Rumors of an IPO have been swirling around the company since June 2015.

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