Unlikely Allies Want to Bar JBS, the Brazilian Beef Giant, From U.S. Stock Markets

Environmentalists and American meat producers alike are asking regulators to keep JBS, the world’s biggest meatpacker, off the New York Stock Exchange.

A giant Brazilian meatpacking company is facing persistent opposition to its plans for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange because of concerns about corruption settlements, accusations of Amazon deforestation and its growing market share in the United States.

The proposed listing by JBS, the world’s biggest meatpacker, has brought together American beef producers, environmentalists and politicians from both major parties in a rare common cause.

JBS is a leader in the American meat industry and has millions of dollars in government contracts to supply meat for food banks and school lunches. The company announced last year that it was planning an initial public offering in the United States, but calls from major investors to vote on the proposal have delayed the move.

A listing on the New York exchange would give JBS broader access to capital.

“They’ve been able to take dollars from their own government and our government and keep building up their market share, and they’re doing this as a bad actor,” said Lia Biondo, executive vice president of the United States Cattlemen’s Association.

This month, a bipartisan group of United States senators wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission and urged the agency to reject the share listing. “Dozens of journalistic and NGO reports have shown that JBS is linked to more destruction of forests and other ecosystems than any other company in Brazil,” the 15 senators said in their letter on Jan. 11.

The letter urged regulators “to consider how JBS’s improper access to U.S. capital markets might strengthen its market position, enhance its ability to engage in anticompetitive conduct, and adversely impact U.S. farmers and ranchers.”

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