Brazilian meat processor JBS has appointed Wesley Batista as its CEO, replacing his brother Joesley Batista, who will become the company's chairman.

Wesley Batista has spent the last four years as CEO of the group's US business, where the company said yesterday (1 February) that he focused on the restructuring, expansion and integration of operations in North America and in Australia.

"He has profound knowledge of our business and is well equipped to continue the consolidation, integration and synergy capturing between all our global production platforms," said Joesley Batista of brother Wesley.

Joesley Batista said his move to chairman will allow him to dedicate more of his time to "strategic amatters" and to the "longevity of the company".

The announcement follows speculation that the group made a failed bid to acquire Sara Lee last week.

Shares in the company were down 1.43% at the market's close yesterday to BRL6.39 a share.