Brazilian meat processing giant JBS is buying Dutch plant-based meat company Vivera, Reuters reported on 19 April.

The US$408.11M acquisition was reported in a securities filing, according to the news agency.

With a portfolio of 50 products and three production facilities and a research and development facility in the Netherlands, Vivera is active in the Dutch, German and UK markets and accounts for around 60% of Europe’s plant-based protein market, according to JBS. It also operates in other countries.

Soya is a major ingredient in Vivera’s products, which include plant nuggets, chicken plant burger, plant mince and plant garlic kievs. The GMO-free soya is sourced from China, France and North America, according to the company.

Vegetable oils are also an integral ingredient in the company’s products with, for example, its plant garlic kievs containing coconut oil, sunflower oil and rapeseed oil and its plant steak containing sunflower oil and coconut oil. Other ingredients include wheat protein, maize starch and yeast extract.

The acquisition would add to JBS’ other plant-based initiatives such as its Seara unit’s Incrível brand in Brazil and the OZO brand in the USA and increase its exposure in the meatless sector, JBS chief executive Gilberto Tomazoni said.

“It’s a growing segment globally… we will be a relevant player in this sector,” Tomazoni was quoted as saying.

With an annual revenue of US$100M, Vivera is the third largest plant-based protein company in Europe, according to Tomazoni.

A JBS statement said Vivera would be maintained as an independent unit.

JBS is the world's largest meat processing company by sales, selling beef, chicken, pork and their by-products for use in biodiesel, feed ingredients and personal care and cleaning products.