Meatpacking heavyweights Marfrig Global Foods and Minerva Foods have denied press speculation in their home market of Brazil that they have opened merger talks.

In a brief statement issued to the Brazilian stock exchange in after-hours trading last night (20 July), the companies said there is no truth in a report published on the website under the headline ‘Marfrig and Minerva started dating before the pandemic’.

Marfrig said in the announcement to shareholders and the market: “In response to the terms of such [an] article, the company and its controller come forward to inform that the content exposed is totally untrue and that there is no negotiation on the matter with the company Minerva.”

Minerva told the stock exchange it “vehemently denies the existence of any on-going negotiation about a possible merger with Marfrig Global Foods”.

The denials will damp speculation about any deal between Marfrig and Minerva but possible mergers between Brazil’s meat giants have been making the news for some time.

This time last year, merger talks between and Marfrig and fellow Brazilian meat processor BRF ended without a deal following discussions that started two months earlier.

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But BRF has indicated that it is still interested in a merger with another global meat player.