- Lawmakers in the U.S. and U.K. are urging the Securities and Exchange Commission to examine JBS' plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange, noting concerns over the meatpacker's ties to deforestation.
- A bipartisan group of 15 U.S. senators pressed the agency to scrutinize the meatpacking giant's draft filing for any incomplete or inaccurate disclosures. Lawmakers said the SEC to reject the listing "should JBS fail to cure any such disclosure deficiencies."
- The senators' letter comes days after 11 British lawmakers called on the SEC to reject the listing to send a "clear message that the United States stands firm in its commitment to combating climate change."
JBS, the world’s largest meatpacking company, has faced a wave of criticism for its plans to list its shares on the U.S. stock exchange. Environmental groups and lawmakers warn the move would allow the meatpacker, blamed for deforestation in the Amazon, access to more capital and credibility.
"Dozens of journalistic and NGO reports have shown that JBS is linked to more destruction of forests and other ecosystems than any other company in Brazil," U.S. lawmakers wrote in their letter. "The company has made repeated claims that it will eliminate deforestation but has not taken meaningful steps to do so."
Political momentum to halt JBS' listing has picked up in recent months. In November, a new lobbying coalition called Ban the Batistas formed to protect "American farmers, ranchers, consumers, and investors from the risks and unchecked power grab" by majority shareholders Joesley and Wesley Batista.
Beyond environmental concerns, critics say the meatpacker has a history of misleading investors in corporate filings. Lawmakers noted in their letter that the structure of the filing would unfairly benefit the Batista family and allow JBS to avoid U.S. disclosure laws.
JBS CEO Gilberto Tomazoni said in a November earnings call that "the listing in the U.S. is our priority." The company, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, plans to list shares in 2024.