More than 75 per cent of Huon Aquaculture shareholders voted in favour of the JBS takeover at the company’s AGM on Friday (29 October). Andrew Forrests private investment vehicle, Tattarang, despite saying its intention was to vote against both the original and parallel scheme as late as 27 October.
JBS CEO Brent Eastwood said the company was pleased with the outcome and overwhelming support of shareholders for the offer.
“Acquiring Huon represents our first step into the aquaculture industry for JBS globally. We believe that our contacts and our ability to open up and access new markets, combined with the expert team at Huon, create a fantastic opportunity to take this business forward,” Eastwood said.
The Foreign Investment Review Board approved the $425 million proposed acquisition on 25 October. JBS had launched its initial bid in August.
Animal welfare and environmental standards were the main demands from Forrest to secure Tattarang’s vote.
Following the vote, Eastwood said: “We will uphold the highest standards for superior quality, fish health and sustainable farming practices – from water management to animal welfare, and stock densities.”
On 31 October, JBS S.A. CEO Gilberto Tomazoni filed a letter with Huon shareholders reconfirming its “unequivocal commitment to animal welfare and environmental sustainability globally”.
“We also take this opportunity to confirm that JBS S.A. unequivocally supports the principal of “no pain, no fear” animal welfare across its global operations.”
The scheme is scheduled for court approval on 3 November.