JBS USA will manage the Canadian beef processor which has been idle since Sept. 27 when E. coli was found at the plant.
Under the agreement JBS will operate the facility in Brooks, Alta., which was recently closed by federal food inspectors because of E. coli. In addition to the 4,000 head-a-day facility, the Edmonton Journal reports JBS will operate XL Foods’ feedlots and other processing plants.
XL Foods co-CEO Brian Nilsson issued a release welcoming the industry knowledge provided by JBS and sees it as a step torwards helping the company reopen the plant in Brooks, Alta.
“This action is another positive step to relicensing the XL Lakeside beef plant in Brooks, Alta.,” Nilsson said. “We welcome the assistance of JBS and their resources.”
JBS USA has the option to purchase XL Foods’ Canadian and U.S. operations for $50 million in cash and $50 million in shares of JBS S.A. JBS will not assume any of XL Foods’ debt or liabilities.
Reuters reports the E. coli contamination at XL Foods is one of the largest in Canada’s history and has resulted in over a thousand lost jobs.
JBS USA is a subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS S.A.