Tyson Foods CEO Looks Overseas for Acquisitions

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A broader general participation would make Tyson reduction reliant on a ups and downs of a U.S. beef sector, where processors like Tyson,

Pilgrim’s Pride
Corp.

and

Hormel Foods
Corp.

are grappling with low prices and flourishing beef supplies.

“It is in fact swelling a risk if we do have operations in countries outward a United States,” Mr. White said.

The U.S. beef attention faces hurdles as duck and pig prolongation arise to record levels this year, according to U.S. Agriculture Department projections. Cheap and abounding beef has sensory a foe between low-cost products like hamburgers and duck nuggets and has cut into duck direct for suppliers like Tyson.

Tariffs on some U.S. beef products from tip meat-importing countries like Mexico and China also have pressured prices.

Mr. White, who formerly oversaw Tyson’s general business and trafficked to Asia final summer, pronounced Tyson is exploring intensity acquisitions of meat-processing or food companies outward a U.S. He declined to plead specific companies.

Foreign Food

U.S. beef hulk Tyson Foods is weighing general enlargement after divesting a Mexican and Brazilian ornithology businesses.

Tyson Foods international/Other segment

$1.4

billion

Sales

1.2

Operating loss

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

–0

–0.2

2012

’14

’15

’13

’16

’17

Source: a company

Tyson in Aug struck a $2.16 billion understanding to acquire Keystone Foods, a vital beef retailer to

McDonald’s
Corp.

and other grill chains. That deal, that Tyson expects to tighten by mid-2019, will supplement new U.S. plants along with comforts in China, Malaysia and Thailand. Tyson executives pronounced Keystone’s general facilities over time could furnish some-more products for sale opposite a Middle East and northern Africa.

Tyson also reserve general markets from a U.S. operations, including $2.2 billion in beef exports in a many new mercantile year, and $971 million of pork.

Tyson is refocusing on a general business after prioritizing investment in U.S. finished dishes over a past 4 years. In 2014, Tyson spent $7.7 billion to buy Hillshire Brands, primogenitor of Jimmy Dean sausage and Ball Park prohibited dogs. Later that year, Tyson concluded to sell a Brazilian and Mexican ornithology operations, observant it hadn’t been means to build adequate scale to effectively compete.

Those sales left Tyson with a handful of estimate plants, digest comforts and hatcheries in India and in China, where a association had invested heavily to rise integrated complexes to hatch, raise, massacre and routine chickens. Subsequent avian influenza outbreaks and slower mercantile expansion eroded ornithology direct in China, according to Tyson executives. In 2015, a association available a $169 million spoil assign on a Chinese business.

Tyson has reset a proceed in China, Mr. White said. Now, Tyson is focused on offered a name-brand products like duck nuggets in Chinese grocery stores. He pronounced Tyson might rise new plants in China that could do additional estimate of duck products, like battering, frying and cooking.

Mr. White, who has worked opposite Tyson’s beef, pig and ornithology businesses for 35 years, pronounced he skeleton to hang with a plan laid out by his prototype Tom Hayes. Under Mr. Hayes’s 21-month reign as CEO, Tyson stretched a environmental commitments and invested in alternatives to normal beef production, like plant-based burgers and record to grow beef from animal cells.

“The marketplace is changing, and we have to change with it,” Mr. White said.

Write to Jacob Bunge during jacob.bunge@wsj.com

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