Meatpacker Marfrig Scoops Up a Quarter of Brazilian Rival BRF

Brazilian beef producer Marfrig Global Foods SA bought about a quarter of rival BRF SA, one of the world’s biggest poultry suppliers, as it seeks to expand in processed food.

Marfrig purchased a 24.23% stake in BRF, pledging to remain a passive investor that won’t influence the board or management, according to a regulatory filing. It paid about $800 million, according to a person familiar with the purchase, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public.

BRF shares jumped by a record 29% this week, pushing its market value to almost 22 billion reais ($4.1 billion). That still leaves it at little more than a third of its peak value of more than 60 billion reais in 2015.

Trading volumes surged this week as a JPMorgan Chase & Co. brokerage unit dominated the buying, with a net volume of about 48.2 million shares.

Meatpacker Marfrig Scoops Up a Quarter of Brazilian Rival BRF

The Sao Paulo-based foodmakers started discussions on a merger in 2019, but the talks to create what would have become the world’s fourth-largest meat producer ended without a deal at that time.

Marfrig, the second-largest beef producer, saw net income surge to record levels last year. Flush with cash, the company has been seeking opportunities to grow, focusing on the processed-food segment in which BRF is a leading producer.

Marfrig’s founder and chairman Marcos Molina is the company’s largest shareholder, with a stake of about 38%.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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