Meat & Livestock News

Senators Question JBS’s Move to List on NYSE Amid Controversies

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A bipartisan coalition of U.S. senators, with Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) at the helm, recently penned a letter to SEC Chair Gary Gensler, casting doubts on JBS S.A.’s intended New York Stock Exchange listing. This group, including Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and others, highlighted several contentious issues linked to JBS’s Brazilian operations.

The senators’ letter delves into accusations of corruption, human rights abuses, and monopolistic behaviour in the meatpacking industry, as well as environmental concerns associated with JBS. They expressed unease about JBS gaining a stronger foothold in the market through U.S. financial avenues, potentially impacting domestic farmers negatively.

A significant point in the letter refers to a 2020 SEC fine of $27 million against JBS owners Joesley and Wesley Batista, related to a bribery case involving the acquisition of Pilgrim’s Pride. The letter also notes Pilgrim’s Pride’s guilty plea in a 2021 price-fixing scandal.

The senators acknowledged that such price-fixing issues are not unique to JBS, as several American companies on the NYSE have faced and settled similar allegations.

Additionally, the letter points to a pending SEC whistleblower complaint against JBS, accusing the company of misleading investors during the issuance of “Sustainability Linked Bonds.” The company’s alleged involvement in deforestation and environmental degradation is also a concern.

As of the latest updates, JBS has not responded to these claims.