Rights offering nets Pilgrim’s Pride $200M

GREELEY – Pilgrim’s Pride said it will receive $200 million from a rights offering the company initiated in January.

The Greeley-based chicken producer announced in December that it would allow current stock holders to buy as many as 44 million discounted shares. The rights offering expired Wednesday, Pilgrim’s said in a statement.

“Pilgrim’s will use the net proceeds for additional working capital to improve its capital position and for general corporate purposes,” the company said in the statement.

Pilgrim’s said its majority stockholder, JBS USA Holdings Inc., exercised its subscription rights in full.

Like Pilgrim’s, JBS has taken recent steps to build its finances. The Brazilian meat packer said in January that it would issue $700 million in eight-year bonds to pay off expensive, short-term debt.

The expiration of the rights offering also follows a Pilgrim’s earnings report showing nearly $500 million in net losses during 2011. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $85 million.

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