Huon founders and directors Frances and Peter Bender approve of the JBS bid for the company

Huon backs enhanced Brazilian takeover bid

Tasmanian salmon farmer Huon has approved an enhanced offer for the company from Brazilian food giant JBS, following an intervention this week from a potential rival bidder.

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In a press release issued on the Australian stock market today, Huon said JBS had launched an agreed takeover bid for 50.1% of the shares at A$3.85 (£2) cash per share.

The board of Huon said the bid was in the best interests of its shareholders and unanimously recommended that they vote in favour.


Last week, Huon owner Peter Bender approved the proposed acquisition of Huon by JBS for A$425 million (£226m), saying it represented ‘an excellent outcome for our shareholders, partners and staff’.

But days later, Australian mining tycoon Andrew Forrest increased his shareholding in the salmon producer.

The billionaire, Australia’s second richest person, upped his 7.33% stake to 18.51%, through his holding company Tattarang, making him the second largest shareholder in Huon behind JBS, which had acquired 40.53%.

Animal welfare

The move meant Forrest could vote against the JBS bid and sparked a war of words between him and Bender over Huon’s environmental and animal welfare credentials. He wrote to the company and to JBS demanding a commitment to higher standards.

In today’s statement, Huon addressed Forrest’s concerns, saying the company ‘continues to be uncompromising in its commitment to the highest standards of animal husbandry, biosecurity, environmental management, and sustainable farming practices’.

Huon added: ‘JBS has also confirmed its commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of animals under its care and to upholding and building on Huon's legacy of high standards for superior quality, fish health, welfare and sustainable farming practices under its ownership.’