Tyson Is Among Would-Be Bidders for BRF Thai, Europe Assets

(Bloomberg) -- Tyson Foods Inc. is among the five firms still in the running for Asian and European chicken plants owned by BRF SA, people with direct knowledge said, asking not to be named because talks are private.

Both Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson and Sao Paulo-based BRF declined to comment. Binding offers for Thai poultry processor Golden Foods Siam Ltd. as well as assets in Europe are due mid December.

The sale process is part of BRF’s 3 billion-real ($790 million) divestment plan to ease its debt burden. It received non-binding offers from eight companies, five of which were chosen to remain in the process, Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente said Nov. 8. In August, the list of interested companies was said to include Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl, China’s Cofco Corp. and BRF’s Brazilian rival JBS SA. Representatives of those three companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Tyson Is Among Would-Be Bidders for BRF Thai, Europe Assets

Tyson, one of the world’s biggest meat companies, is looking to expand overseas to help absorb volatility in U.S. agriculture markets. This year and last, it’s spent more than $7.2 billion in takeovers, including an August agreement to buy chicken-nugget maker Keystone Foods LLC, which has operations in the U.S. and Asia, from Brazil’s Marfrig Global Foods SA.

In June, BRF announced plans to sell units in Europe, Thailand and Argentina, appointing units of Itau and Bradesco to advise on the Argentina disposals and Morgan Stanley for Europe and Thailand.

Tyson shares pared gains to close little changed on Friday. BRF fell 3.8 percent in Sao Paulo after dropped as much as 3.9 percent.

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