Brazil meatpacker announces divestment plan

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS has announced a $1.8 billion divestment plan to reduce its debt and financial leverage.

The world's largest meatpacker says in a Tuesday statement it plans to sell its U.S.-based unit, Five Rivers Cattle Feeding; shareholding stakes in Brazilian dairy company Vigor Alimentos; and Moy Park, its poultry business in Northern Ireland.

The meatpacker earlier this month sold its units in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay for $300 million to companies controlled by a rival meat processing company in Brazil.

JBS executives are at the center of a political crisis engulfing President Michel Temer. In a secret audio recording of JBS executive Joesley Batista in March, Temer appears to be condoning a payment of hush money to imprisoned former House Speaker Eduardo Cunha.