SAO PAULO, June 2 (Reuters) - Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig
Global Foods is increasing its stake in food
processor BRF SA to up to 30%, a source familiar with
the move told Reuters, putting the buyer close to the threshold
where it would have to make a public tender for all the
company's outstanding shares.
Marfrig previously owned a 24% stake that it acquired last
month and was approaching a 30% holding via open market
transactions, the source said.
Financial blog Brazil Journal first reported the move
earlier on Wednesday.
Marfrig, which produces beef in the United States, Brazil
and Argentina, declined to comment on the transaction. Its
shares were up 3.1% on the Sao Paulo stock exchange in early
BRF, the world's largest poultry exporter, and which also
produces pork, also declined comment on the matter.
While BRF's shares have soared around 12% since Tuesday to
trade at a 52-week high, the company said in a securities filing
on Wednesday that it was unaware of the reasons behind the
BRF stock was up 4.1% in early afternoon trade.
When Marfrig surprised the market by buying the 24% stake
last month, the company said it was only interested in a passive
stake in BRF. Yet its stakebuilding comes almost two years after
previous failed merger talks between the two companies.
Combined, Marfrig and BRF could be in a better position to
take on industry leader JBS SA, although any tie-up
could bring risks too.
BRF's by-laws demand that an investor that reaches a 33.33%
stake in the company is mandated to make a tender offer for all
of its remaining shares.
(Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo and Tatiana Bautzer in São
Writing by Ana Mano
Editing by Clelia Oziel and David Holmes)