Minerva Launches Operations in Paraguay

2008-08-06 19:24:00

Minerva Launches Operations in Paraguay

    BARRETOS, Brazil, Aug. 6 /EMWNews/ -- Minerva S.A.

(BOVESPA: BEEF3; Bloomberg: BEEF3.BZ; Reuters: BEEF3.SA), one of the market

leaders in Brazil in the production and sale of beef, leather and live

cattle exports, informs its shareholders and the market in general that it

acquired today a controlling interest in Friasa S.A., a Paraguayan company.

Friasa leases a meatpacking plant located in the city of Asuncion Paraguay,

with slaughter capacity of 700 head/day. Minerva paid US$4 million to

acquire shares representing a 70% interest in the equity of Friasa. The

transaction agreement also provides for the lease by Friasa of the

meatpacking plant for a period of five years, which may be renewed for an

equal period.



    The acquisition marks the start of Minerva's international expansion in

the Mercosur trade bloc, and is part of the Company's strategy of

geographical diversification and insertion in new markets. Paraguay,

currently the world's 8th largest beef exporter, has a livestock of 11

million heads of cattle and offers excellent potential for improvements in

productivity (output rate currently at 14%) and sanitary status, with the

country recently recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health

(OIE) as free of foot-and-mouth disease with vaccination. In addition to

exporting to destinations such as Russia, South Africa, Vietnam, Israel,

Hong Kong, amongst others, the country is also qualified to export to the

important Chilean market, where it holds 55% market share. Advanced

negotiations are also underway for the opening up of markets in the

European Union to Paraguayan fresh beef exports.



    According to the country's animal health agency Senacsa, in the first

five months of this year, Paraguay's fresh beef exports grew by 37% to

73,005 tons, and by 90% in revenue terms to US$257 million, representing

the highest growth rate of any Mercosur country. Another important factor

was the average price per ton of US$3,523.



    To access the full version visit our website at http://www.minerva.ind.br/ir



    About Minerva S.A.



    Minerva S.A. is one of the leading producers and sellers of beef,

leather and live cattle in Brazil, and is one of the country's three

largest exporters in the sector in terms of gross revenue, exporting to

some 80 countries.





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