Meat substitutes producer Vivera comes into the hands of JBS

August 15, 2020 by No Comments

The Dutch Vivera, producer of plant-based meat substitutes, is being acquired for more than 340 million euros by the Brazilian food producer JBS. Both companies announced this on Monday afternoon.

In February it was already announced that the producer of meat substitutes was for sale. Several food manufacturers have since expressed interest.

The choice ultimately fell on JBS because that company supports “Vivera’s mission”, says CEO Willem van Weede. “We want to make it as easy as possible for consumers who live consciously to do the right thing.”

Vegetable shawarma

Vivera products such as the vegetable croquette burger, BBQ sausage, minced meat and shoarma are available in almost all Dutch supermarkets. The brand has also been available in other European countries for a number of years: in their own words, a total of 25 countries.

The company has about 400 employees and has factories in Rijssen, Vriezenveen and Holten. The latter also houses Vivera’s research center and headquarters. Last year the company had a turnover of about 85 million euros. Van Weede wants to triple that amount in a few years.

JBS is less known in the Netherlands, but it is one of the largest food companies in the world. The multinational has 245,000 employees worldwide, and last year made a turnover of about 52 billion dollars.

away from meat

The company is mainly large in meat processing, but in recent years has also focused on the production of vegetable products. Under the name OZO, it has been selling plant-based products in the United States since last year.

This is one of the reasons why Van Weede thought the takeover by JBS was a logical choice. The company does not only offer economies of scale: “With them we can continue investing in production capacity and brand development.” According to the chairman of the board, JBS is also an interesting acquisition partner because it has expressed the ambition to become ‘more plant-based’. “That way we are close to the core.”

Vivera was founded in 1990 as Enkco Vivera. In those years, the company also processed meat under the ‘Enkco’ banner. That industry was sold in 2019 to the Dutch meat processor Van Loon Group. Vivera is currently owned by the private equity firm Gilde. It is also a shareholder in companies such as Ten Cate and Albelli.

According to CEO Van Weede, Vivera is the third player on the European market for meat substitutes. Its main competitors are Nestlé, which sells meat substitutes under the Garden Gourmet name, and the British Quorn.

The acquisition of Vivera by JBS has yet to be approved by competition authorities and works councils.