Australia clears bid by Brazil beef giant JBS to acquire pork firm Primo
SYDNEY, March 4 (Reuters) - Australian regulators have approved a bid by the U.S. arm of Brazilian beef giant JBS to acquire Australian Consolidated Food Holdings Pty Ltd (Primo) for an undisclosed sum, Treasurer Joe Hockey said on Wednesday.
The approval by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), subject to conditions at Primo's abattoir, allows the purchase by JBS USA Holdings Inc, through its wholly owned unit JBS Smallgoods HoldCo Australia Pty Ltd, to move ahead.
Under Australian law, FIRB approval is required for any investment by a foreign firm in a domestic company that is worth more than A$252 million ($197 million).
The merger of the world's largest processer of fresh beef and pork, JBS, with Australia's largest producer of ham, bacon and pork products comes as Australia has set a goal of becoming Asia's food basket.
"The Government welcomes foreign investment in Australia and continues to ensure that investments are consistent with Australia's national interest," Hockey said in a statement.
($1 = 1.2788 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Matt Siegel; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)
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