BRF mulling M&A but no deal reached

BRF mulling M&A but no deal reached

BRF has moved to cool market rumours the company is looking to buy Kuwait Food Co. - known as Americana - or French poultry group Doux.

The Brazil-based food group's international expansion has seen the group linked to various possible takeover targets including, most recently, Americana and Doux.

Following a report in Brazil that claimed BRF was looking to acquire the two businesses, the company yesterday (6 November) issued a statement to confirm it has engaged in talks with both parties but said no agreement has been reached.

In a regulatory filing, BRF insisted: "BRF informs that it has had discussions with the companies aforementioned, but has not reached any binding agreements. In case the company reaches binding agreements with any of these companies it will make the necessary communications."

However, speaking to just-food earlier this week, BRF CFO Augusto Ribeiro had clarified the company is no longer in discussions with Americana. "We are not talking to them any more," he said.

On whether discussions could be re-established, Ribeiro added: "Who knows?"

Meanwhile, late last month, Roberto Banfi, chief executive officer for BRF's operations in Europe and Eurasia, told just-food there is "absolutely nothing definite" on the M&A front in Europe.

"There is [growing] sector consolidation but also consolidation due to many companies going out of business. The consolidation is a movement that is global. You cannot avoid it. But whether we want to be part of that, in that specific primary production, is another question," he said, speaking at the SIAL trade show in Paris.

On whether BRF would consider buying value-added branded businesses in Europe, he added: "Maybe, but there is nothing to define yet."

In order to facilitate growth and simplify its structure, BRF restructured its international business units, reducing the number of operating regions from six to four. The company's overseas businesses are now structured around Menasa (Middle East, North Africa and southeast Asia), the Americas, Asia and Europe/Eurasia.

The new structure is designed to enable to group to step up its international expansion. Ribeiro told just-food BRF plans to grow through organic expansion and M&A in international markets. While Ribeiro declined to provide sales guidance, he said the company is targeting low double-digit sales value growth in both its international and domestic operations.