UPDATE 1-JBS says expects Cargill regulatory approval in 4-7 months

jueves 2 de julio de 2015 11:16 GYT

(Updates after conference call)

SAO PAULO, July 2 (Reuters) - JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker, expects antitrust approval of its acquisition of Cargill Inc's U.S. pork assets in four to seven months, paving the way for synergies of more than $75 million, executives said on Thursday.

The Brazilian food processing giant said late on Wednesday its U.S. division would purchase the pork assets from Cargill Meat Solutions for $1.45 billion, a deal that would make it one of the largest meat companies in the United States.

JBS executives said in a Thursday conference call that the companies' combined U.S. pork business would have pro forma net revenue of $6.3 billion with assets in 10 states.

They did not provide any details on where the synergies - a term that usually describes cost savings in deals but also occasionally opportunities for additional revenues - would come from.

The announcement came less than a week after JBS said it would buy Moy Park Ltd, the British poultry and processed foods unit of rival Marfrig Global Foods SA.

JBS CEO Wesley Batista acknowledged that he had told investors the company would focus on organic growth rather than acquisitions at the beginning of the year but said the Cargill and Moy Park opportunities had been too good to pass up.

"It was a love affair of various years," he said of the lead-up to the Cargill acquisition. He said JBS would have "near perfect" geographic distribution in the United states with the new assets.

JBS's net debt to EBITDA ratio will likely increase due to the transaction, to around 2.74 times EBITDA, executives said. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer and Gustavo Bonato; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Christian Plumb)