Tyson Acquires McDonald’s Supplier For $2.5 B

Brazil-based Marfrig, the world's second largest beef processor, sells Keystone, the largest supplier of McDonald's chicken nuggets. ( Tyson Foods )

Tyson Foods has acquired U.S. chicken nugget processor Keystone Foods from Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods SA for $2.5 billion, according to a report from Reuters.

Citing two unnamed sources “with knowledge” of the transaction, Reuters says the agreement was signed by Marfrig’s controlling shareholder Marcos Molina Thursday evening.

In April, Marfrig purchased 51% of Kansas City-based National Beef Packing Co., for $969 million, and industry analysts believe the Keystone sale was made to help fund that purchase. Keystone is the largest supplier of chicken nuggets to McDonald’s, and had 2017 sales of $2.8 billion, with operations in the United States, Korea, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia.

The acquisition of National Beef reportedly made Marfrig the world’s second-largest beef processor, with consolidated sales of U.S. $13 billion. U.S. Premium Beef owns 15% of National Beef Packing Co.