Earlier this week, on a JBS U.S. earning call, the company reaffirmed its intent to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange.
Amid price fixing investigations, tightening beef margins, recovering U.S. pork division, and chicken oversupplies, the company’s plan to list shares was held back this week by a request from the American Depository Receipt holders vote on the proposal.
In response to the top meat producer’s efforts to list JBS on the New York Stock Exchange, a new group surfaced called Ban the Batistas. The coalition says they include American farmers, ranchers, consumers, and investors concerned about the risks and “power grab” by JBS’ majority shareholders, brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista from Brazil.
“The Batista Brothers’ future depends on a JBS U.S. IPO that, if allowed to proceed, would capture U.S. dollars, drive farmers and ranchers out of business, and enable JBS to dominate the American market,” said Kim Spell, Executive Director of Ban the Batistas. “It is clear they make their own rules and that federal violations, criminal convictions, and legal fines haven’t stopped their global power grab. The message of Ban the Batistas is clear: ACT NOW to STOP a U.S. stock listing of JBS and end the Batistas reign of manipulating, exploiting, and profiting off American working-class families and consumers.”
JBS is the world’s largest meatpacker, with a global food production platform and annual revenues of $78 billion. It has intended to become listed on the NYSE by the end of the calendar year.
The Batista family has remained largely in control since its founding by Jose Batista Sobrinho in 1953. The Batista brothers have come under fire during their leadership due to involvement in corruption scandals, allegations of insider trading, and violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for securing funding through criminal means.
“Under the [NYSE listing] proposal previously on record, the Batista family reportedly could gain up to 90.5 percent voting power – nearly doubling their control,” writes Ban the Batistas. “Rewarding and further enabling corrupt, dangerous, and criminal behavior at the expense of U.S. families, farmers, consumers, and investors.”
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