Unlisted meat processor North Meats today [Monday] upped its stake in takeover target Richmond to over 10%, making it impossible for rival processor PPCS to take complete control of Richmond.

North Meats chairman Norman McRae insisted the acquisition, which more than doubled his company’s stake in Richmond, was not a prelude to a takeover attempt: “We are not making a takeover bid for the company,” McRae told Dow Jones Newswires. He acknowledged the deal would probably block a takeover bid by PPCS.

PPCS Ltd., an unlisted farmer-owned cooperative, is offering NZ$3.05 (US$1.68) a share for Richmond in a takeover bid that closes around the end of the month.