Wesley Batista

Wesley Batista, chief executive of JBS, the world's largest beef producer, gestures as he speaks during the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit in Sao Paulo March 25, 2011. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker (BRAZIL - Tags: FOOD BUSINESS) - RTR2KDR8
WESLEY BATISTA, CEO OF JBS ALIX COLOW. PICK UP. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker Photograph by Paulo Whitaker — Reuters
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If you had to guess the world’s biggest meat seller, you’d be hard-pressed to think of JBS. But this 62-year-old family-run Brazilian company has been on an acquisition rampage for more than a decade: Swift, Pilgrim’s Pride, and units of Smithfield, Tyson, and Cargill have disappeared into its maw. No surprise: JBS’s sales have risen nearly 30-fold over a decade. JBS is still digesting a lot of debt but is improving its margins. Its shares are up 40% over 12 months even as Brazil’s index has slumped by 20%.