South African poultry processor Country Bird Holdings has upped its stake in local peer Quantum Foods, buying shares from industry rival Astral Foods.

Quantum first announced Astral’s intentions to sell its shares in the company yesterday (7 March).

Updated filings published on the stock exchange by Quantum today indicate Astral has sold 10% of its shares in the group in an over-the-counter deal from Country Bird Holdings.

The transaction was agreed earlier in the week after Astral received “an unsolicited offer from Country Bird Holdings”, Quantum said.

South Africa’s largest egg supplier added the deal was “negotiated and implemented without Quantum Foods’ prior knowledge” and that it “currently has no further information” about the transaction.

The latest filing also indicates that Country Bird Holdings has upped its stake in the group further since the purchase.

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Just Food has contacted Country Bird Holdings for comment on the transaction.

Quantum said it has also been told by a shareholder that Country Bird Holdings has made an offer to buy the investor’s shares.

Meanwhile, another shareholder also informed the Wellington-based company of its intentions to “offer its shares to the market”.

Quantum’s share price went up circa 104.4% between Friday 1 March and Thursday 7 March.

Country Bird Holdings has tried to buy Quantum Foods in the past, buying a 31% stake in the business in 2020 as a prelude to a possible bid. However, Quantum’s directors moved to buy shares in the company and Silverlands II, an investment fund operating out of Luxembourg and run by London-based SilverStreet Capital, acquired 32% of the group.

Quantum Foods said today that as far it is aware Country Bird Holdings owns 15.8% of the business, behind Braemar Trading with 30.8% and at Aristotle Africa S.à.r.l. – a subsidiary of Silverlands – at 34.2%.