The Huon Aquaculture Group Ltd (ASX: HUO) share price is wobbling amid reports one of its top shareholders is continuing their campaign against JBS‘ takeover bid on animal cruelty grounds.
The Huon share price has been in and out of the green all day. Right now, shares in the salmon producer are trading for $3.83 apiece, 0.5% lower than their previous closing price.
Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest, Fortescue Metals’ CEO and chair of Tattarang, which holds an 18.5% stake in Huon, upped his crusade against the takeover by placing a full-page ad in today’s Australian Financial Review (AFR).
The ad is headlined: It’s time to commit. It challenges JBS – the world’s largest meat processor – to improve its animal welfare standards and implement a ‘no pain no fear’ framework during the slaughtering of animals.
Additionally, the Sydney Morning Herald today reported Forrest has called on Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board to examine the takeover. Forrest reportedly alleges JBS has previously engaged in corrupt activities and animal cruelty.
In 2020, the Animal Welfare Institute found JBS committed more animal welfare violations than any other US-based meat producer.
JBS states it has implemented management structures to oversee the humane handling and management of animals. The company’s handling of animals is also remotely monitored and audited by a third party.
Let’s take a closer look at the news moving the Huon share price today.
Forrest’s campaign against JBS’ takeover of Huon is a few weeks old and follows JBS’ original takeover bid, which saw the Huon share price gain 39%.
On 11 August, Forrest announced Tattarang had more than doubled its stake in Huon in an attempt to block the takeover and improve Huon’s own animal welfare and sustainability practices. At the time, Tattarang’s holding could have been the deciding vote in the takeover bid.
However, JBS posed an updated takeover bid last week. The new bid only required the approval of 50.01% of Huon’s shareholders to go ahead. Huon’s directors, who together represent 53% of Huon’s voting power, have already pledged to vote in favour of the takeover.
Seemingly in response, Forrest has doubled down in his fight against JBS’ bid.
The Huon share price is wobbling amid Forrest’s intensifying campaign against JBS’ takeover bid.
According to Forrest, JBS’ current animal welfare and environmental impact standards are lacking. Until the company commits to improving those standards, he will vote against the takeover.
In a release from Tattarang, Forrest pointed to the firm’s beef processing company, Harvey Beef’s ‘no pain no fear’ focus. The focus allegedly means animals feel no fear or pain when going to slaughter. He said:
As the world’s biggest protein producer, JBS can rise to this same standard…
Stop the talk and show us your actions, your animals deserve better and your customers expect more. I challenge JBS to join me on this journey.
We need to see more than just words from you, we need to see immediate action.
The release echoes the message of Forrest’s full-page advert. Roy Morgan estimates around 162,000 Australians read the AFR each day.
Huon share price snapshot
The Huon share price has been performing well on the ASX lately.
It has gained 44% year to date. It is also 27% higher than this time last year.