The board of Gold Kist, the Atlanta-based poultry group, has said it will consider the takeover offer recently mounted by Pilgrim's Pride, the number two chicken producer in the US, though it said it wanted to remain an independent company.

Gold Kist also said it was disappointed that Pilgrim's Pride had chosen to make the offer public.

Pilgrim's Pride said on Friday (19 Aug) that it had made an offer of US$20 a share in cash, equivalent to around $1bn, for the company. Pilgrim's Pride would also take on $144m in debt as part of the transaction.

This is the latest in a series of takeover offers Pittsburgh-based Pilgrim's Pride has made for Gold Kist which is the third largest chicken producer in the US, with sales of $2.30bn, compared with Pilgrim's Pride's turnover of $5.67bn. All the offers have been rejected, the most recent being in July of this year.