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Pilgrim's Pride shareholders can pursue Moy Park deal suit

DOVER, Del. — A Delaware judge has refused to dismiss a shareholder lawsuit over poultry company Pilgrim’s Pride’s $1.3 billion acquisition of U.K. poultry producer Moy Park, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Pilgrim’s Pride’s parent company.

Friday’s ruling means Pilgrim’s Pride stockholders can pursue their claims against Brazil-based JBS SA, one of the largest meat processors in the world.

The lawsuit claims that because JBS controlled both Colorado-based Pilgrim’s Pride and Northern Ireland-based Moy Park, it must prove that the deal was entirely fair.

The plaintiffs say JBS orchestrated a deal to sell Moy Park to Pilgrim’s Pride in 2017 because JBS needed to raise cash quickly after agreeing to pay a $3.2 billion fine to the Brazilian government after company executives admitted to bribing politicians.

Randall Chase, The Associated Press

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