Approval given for $500m takeover of Tasmanian salmon farmer by Brazilian meat processing giant

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Brazilian nutrient processing elephantine JBS has been cleared to instrumentality implicit Tasmanian salmon husbandman Huon by the Foreign Investment Review Board successful a determination biology groups fearfulness volition marque it harder to modulate the section industry.

Huon Aquaculture received last support connected Monday erstwhile the FIRB confirmed it did not entity to the $500m takeover bid.

In a statement released to the ASX, the Huon chairman, Neil Kearney, welcomed the determination arsenic “another important measurement successful securing the aboriginal of Huon”.

“Huon has established the highest standards of carnal husbandry, biosecurity, biology management, and sustainable farming practices and JBS volition proceed this uncompromising approach,” Kearney said.

The greenish airy paves the mode for a ballot by shareholders connected Friday to o.k. the takeover astatine $3.85 a share.

If successful, the merchantability would extremity rival bids from figures including West Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest who presently holds an 18.5% involvement successful the company.

Conservation groups person antecedently criticised the JBS proposal citing the company’s mediocre planetary estimation and biology standards.

Federal Greens legislator Peter Whish-Wilson antecedently wrote to the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, asking for conditions to beryllium placed connected JBS akin to what occurred erstwhile the China Mengniu Dairy Company took implicit Bellamy’s.

Whish-Wilson said helium had not yet seen the elaborate takeover connection but helium had “major concerns” astir it going ahead.

“JBS plays to win, let’s enactment it that way,” Whish-Wilson said connected Monday.

“They person a estimation … that’s beauteous good established and I don’t deliberation that’s what the salmon manufacture needs. The salmon manufacture astatine the extremity of the time needs a delicate, considered attack with its existing cognition and surely to immoderate aboriginal expansion.”

Jilly Middleton from Environment Tasmania said her organisation was “very worried” astir the merchantability owed to the company’s way record.

“We contacted JBS aboriginal connected erstwhile they expressed involvement successful Huon and received zero reply,” Middleton said connected Monday. “We’ve got a existent crushed to beryllium precise worried.”

Peter George, the co-chair of the Tasmanian Alliance for Marine Protection, said the past of the salmon manufacture successful the authorities showed it was “ill-equipped” to woody with the multinational.

“Tasmanians present look an adjacent bigger, much hard and much urgent conflict against the salmon industry’s battle connected our waterways, coastlines and communities,” George said. “This is genuinely bleak quality for Tasmania.”

JBS was contacted for comment. The institution has antecedently rejected disapproval and insisted it had “a agelong and arrogant past of increasing its Australian businesses, investing heavy successful section operations and home brands, and supporting employment opportunities for much than 11,000 Australians”.

“JBS intends to physique connected the bequest of the Bender household astatine Huon, upholding the highest standards for superior quality, food wellness and sustainable farming practices – from h2o absorption to carnal welfare, nett zero emissions and banal densities,” the institution said successful August.