US-based food major Tyson Foods has signed a definitive agreement with Marfrig Global Foods to acquire global foodservice industry supplier Keystone Foods for $2.16bn in cash.

The transaction is part of the company’s growth strategy and expansion of its value-added protein capabilities.

Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Keystone supplies chicken, beef, fish and pork to foodservice companies such as quick-service restaurant chains along with retail and convenience store channels.

It also offers value-added products such as chicken nuggets, wings and tenders, beef patties and breaded fish fillets.

Tyson Foods president and CEO Tom Hayes said: “This acquisition will expand our international presence and value-added production capabilities and help us deliver more value to our foodservice customers.

“Keystone provides a significant foundation for international growth with its in-country operations, sales and distribution network in high-growth markets in the Asia Pacific region, as well as exports to key markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“We look forward to serving customers with these additional capabilities and to welcoming Keystone’s dedicated team members to the Tyson Foods family.”

“We look forward to serving customers with these additional capabilities and to welcoming Keystone’s dedicated team members to the Tyson Foods family.”

The deal includes six food processing plants, as well as an innovation centre in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In addition, the acquisition covers eight plants and three innovation centres across China, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia.

However, the deal will not cover Keystone’s beef patty processing plant in Ohio.

Tyson Foods will fund the transaction through a combination of existing liquidity and proceeds from the issuance of new debt.

The deal has received approval from Tyson Foods’ board of directors, however, is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. It is expected to close in mid-fiscal 2019.