The unit of Brazilian meat giant JBS SA reached a plea agreement over limiting competition on three chicken contracts with a U.S. customer, the Greeley, Colorado-based company
The price-fixing allegation came as U.S. meat processors were under fire from the Covid-19 pandemic in which thousands of slaughterhouse workers caught the virus and prompted shutdowns earlier this year that temporarily tightened supplies of poultry and red meat. News of the fine comes on the same day as an announcement that JBS’s parent company
Included in the indictment were William Lovette, who stepped down as CEO of Pilgrim’s in 2019, and Jayson Penn, who succeeded Lovette and was first named in an indictment in June. Penn left Pilgrim’s last month and has pleaded not guilty.
Shares in the company jumped as much as 7%, the steepest intraday gain since June.
“We are encouraged that today’s agreement concludes the Antitrust Division’s investigation into Pilgrim’s, providing certainty regarding this matter to our team members, suppliers, customers and shareholders,” Chief Executive Officer
The company said the fine will be filed as a “miscellaneous expense” in the third quarter for 2020. It will hold an
(Adds details of the probe and share-price reaction)
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