Brazil’s antitrust regulator, the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has approved Marfrig Global Foods investment in BRF, the two Brazil-based companies announced on their investor relations webpages.

It was announced on May 21 that Marfrig had purchased 196,869,573 shares of BRF, which amounts to a 24.23% stake in the company. Then, on June 3, Marfrig announced that it had increased its level of ownership of BRF, purchasing more than 61 million addition shares, giving it about a 31.66% stake in the company.

According to Marfrig’s notice to the market, CADE issued an opinion that approves the transaction without restrictions.

Marfrig earlier stated that the acquisition of BRF shares aims to diversify Marfrig’s investment in a segment that is complementary to the sector of which it operates, and that no contracts or agreements were executed by Marfrig regulating the exercise of voting rights or the purchase and sale of the company’s securities.

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Marfrig’s decision to purchase a stake in BRF came about two years after the two companies had taken part in merger talks. However, it was announced on July 11, 2019, that such a merger was no longer being discussed.

While both Brazilian companies have an international presence and a history of a diversified portfolio in animal proteins, Marfrig had earlier divested of significant assets in the poultry industry. In November 2018, Marfrig sold its Keystone Foods subsidiary, then the tenth largest poultry company in the United States, to Tyson Foods, stating that it was doing so to put more emphasis on its beef operations and to leverage its purchase of the majority stake in the U.S.-based National Beef Packing Co.

Marfrig Global Foods is also the former owner of Northern Ireland-based poultry company Moy Park, which it sold to JBS. Moy Park is presently owned by Pilgrim’s Pride.

BRF is Brazil’s second largest poultry producer. Its key brands are Sadia and Perdigao.