Marfrig is to acquire the largest privately-held meat products company in the US, Keystone Foods for US$1.26bn.

In a statement, Marfrig said the acquisition would make it a leading supplier to companies including McDonald's Corp., Subway and ConAgra Foods.

Marfrig chairman and president Marcos Molina, said: "The global food market is growing and Brazil has capitalised on this growth by strategically consolidating within the protein industry. By adding the resources and expertise of Keystone Foods and its management team, we are expanding Marfrig's business with a scale and sustainable supply chain needed to meet the very significant growth opportunities within the industry and to attend to the needs of our global clients."

To finance the acquisition, the Brazilian meat giant said it would issue BRL$2.5bn (US$1.3bn) in shares through a private subscription of five-year mandatory convertible debentures, with a proposed strike price of R$21.50 per share.