Brazil food company Marfrig Alimentos SA has made plans to sell a stake, gaining the interest of Blackstone Group LP and Tyson Foods Inc., according to reports.

Marfrig hopes to reduce some of the debt accrued after making 20 acquisitions in the last five years to keep pace with competitor Brasil Foods. Private equity units of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Banco Bradesco SA are also interested in buying a shareholding in Marfrig or one of its units. Marfrig's shares rose 3.2 percent on the news, to 10.38 reais at 11:55 a.m. on Aug. 24 in Sao Paulo. “Marfrig is a well-managed company with good products; the only thing that is stopping the stock from rising is debt,” said Caue Pinheiro, an analyst at brokerage SLW Corretora. “That’s why a plan to reduce its leverage is welcome.” 


Fitch Ratings Ltd. has recently revised its outlook for Marfrig, along with rivals JBS SA and Brasil Foods, from stable to negative.