Two of Brazil’s largest food manufacturers, Perdigao and Sadia, have claimed their plans to merge would create an “international powerhouse” in the food industry.

The new company, Brasil Foods (BRF), would generate around BRL22bn (US$10.7bn) in annual revenue.

With 42 plants and a workforce of almost 120,000 employees, BRF would leapfrog Tyson Foods to become the world’s largest poultry producer. BRF would also have a strong presence in the pork and beef markets and a dominant position in Brazil’s frozen and prepared meal categories.

“It is a great transaction and it is a very simple one as well. We will create one of the largest and most efficient food companies in the world,” Perdigao CEO Nildemar Secches said during a conference call yesterday (19 May) to announce the group’s plans.

Secches indicated that the new company would focus on expanding its international operations, exploiting Sadia’s access to various international markets.

Through the deal, BRF will gain the financial strength “to grow mainly in international markets”, Sacches said.

“We will be a very powerful export house, exporting to more than 110 countries,” Sacches emphasised.

Under the transaction, Perdigao shareholders will control 68% of the new enterprise. Sadia will operate as a 100%-owned subsidiary of Perdigao, management added.