South Africa’s Astral Foods has denied it has made an offer to acquire a stake in fellow poultry processor Sovereign Food Investments.

Astral has issued a statement to the South African stock exchange saying wit was “aware of speculation regarding a potential offer by it to acquire securities in Sovereign Food Investments”.

“Shareholders are advised that Astral Foods has not made any offer to, or entered into any negotiations with, any poultry producers or any of their shareholders to acquire securities in such poultry producers. Astral Foods has not made any approach to the board of Sovereign Foods or any other poultry producer with a view to an offer being made and there is no certainty that a transaction may or may not occur.

However, it added: “Astral Foods continues to explore numerous strategic alternatives which could include Sovereign Foods.”

Last month Astral Foods posted higher sales and earnings for the full year, helped by new business, improved selling prices and lower feed costs.