Sovereign Food Investments is in unspecified talks the South Africa-based poultry group has said could have "a material effect" on the company's shares.

The group disclosed the mystery discussions in a stock exchange announcement on Friday (28 July). A spokesperson for Sovereign Food Investments declined to comment further when approached by just-food today.

Last year, Sovereign Food Investments rebuffed takeover interest from fellow South African poultry processor Country Bird Holdings, which is also a shareholder in the business.

In May, Sovereign Food Investments booked a loss of ZAR35m (US$2.7m) for the year to the end of February, despite increased sales. Costs linked to Sovereign Food Investments' efforts to defend itself against Country Bird Holdings' advances, as well as increased feed and distribution costs, led to the loss.

However, Sovereign Food Investments said its revenue grew 25% to ZAR2.2bn over the previous full-year period, on the back of sales of "higher-margin, niche, fresh and value-added products".