Brazilian meat giants JBS and Marfrig have distanced themselves from speculation of a possible merger between the two companies and local rival Minerva.

JBS yesterday (3 October) issued a statement denying a report in Brazilian weekly news magazine Veja that it was in talks with banks to finance a deal.

The company said it was “not negotiating with national or international banks to fund a possible merger”, adding that any development would only go through official channels.

Marfrig released a denial today, insisting that “no negotiation is being held towards a potential merger with other companies in the sector”. The company added that it has always “adopted a proactive and transparent communication line with its shareholders and investors”.

The article in Veja, citing anonymous sources, said the Brazilian government has said it does not look favorably upon such a deal as it would reduce competition in the sector.