JBS Food Canada, a subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS South America, is set to acquire XL Foods packing plant, feedlot and farmland in Brooks, and XL Foods Calgary processing plant, effective January 14, 2013.

“Today, JBS officially enters the Canadian beef market through our acquisition of the XL Lakeside beef packing plant,” stated Bill Rupp, president and COO of JBS USA Beef. “After several months of careful consideration of the option and nearly three months of successfully managing the Lakeside facility, we have determined that the Canadian operations will serve as an important asset to our strategic global beef production model.  We look forward to partnering with Canadian producers to deliver quality Canadian beef to customers around the world.”

Alberta's Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Verlyn Olson says he's pleased with the sale.

“This is very good news for Alberta and Canadian beef producers, the employees of the plant, the community of Brooks and the owners and operators of XL Foods Inc," says Olson.  " This purchase is the next and very important step, in what has been a very long process."

"We all continue to focus on ensuring safe food products remain available to all markets.”

JBS Food Canada will not assume any of XL Foods’ debt or liabilities.

As part of the agreement, JBS USA receives an exclusive option to purchase the U.S. operations of XL Foods pending approval by U.S. authorities.

The South American meat production company employs more than 135,000 employees at its 300 facilities across the globe.