Publicly-listed Marfrig announced on Friday (21 May) it had acquired a 24.23% interest in BRF through the purchase of more than 196 million shares, explaining its aims through the transaction are to diversify “investments in a segment that has complementarities with its sector of activity”.

Marfrig, headquartered in Sao Paulo, said it has no plan to elect members to the BRF board nor to “exert influence over the activities” of its Brazilian peer.

BRF, which mainly processes chicken and pork, acknowledged the deal via its own statement at the weekend, adding that Marfrig also has no plan to “promote changes in the control or in the administrative structure” of the company.

Marfrig and BRF had entered discussions in 2019 over a possible combination. However, that never materialised.

At the time, Marfrig said a merger would result in “the creation of a world leader in the protein market with wide geographical and product diversification” and it would reduce risk and “exploit operational and financial synergies due to the balance and complementarity of products, services and geographic diversification”.

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Last year, Marfrig and another Brazil-based meat group, Minerva Foods, both denied they had opened merger talks.

Meanwhile, sources for news agency Reuters said the minority deal between Marfrig and BRF amounts to US$800m.

In 2020, Marfrig generated net revenues of BRL67.48bn (US$12.58bn). BRF posted sales of BRL39.5bn.