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Marfrig to acquire Cargill poultry unit

Brazil's Marfrig Alimentos SA said it has agreed to acquire Cargill Inc.'s Brazilian poultry business for $900 mln.

The move is made to bolster the company's poultry and pork businesses while opening up better access to markets such as the UK and Japan.

Marfrig said in a statement that it will buy the unit, called Seara Alimentos Ltd., for $706.2 mln in cash and $193.8 mln in assumed debt.

The Sao Paulo-based company said it may sell new shares in order to finance the acquisition, which it expects to complete by year's end.

Second largest in poultry

Marfrig is adding heft to its growing pork and poultry business in a bid for the scale the company says will make it a better competitor in international markets.

Acquiring the $1.7 bln per year business will make Marfrig Brazil's second largest poultry company, after Brasil Foods, which was formed in may this year after the takeover of Sadia by Perdigao.

Marfrig also gets Seara's brand and its domestic trading and distribution operations in the UK, Japan and Singapore – operations which hold rights to export-import quotas between Brazil and nine markets in Europe and Asia.

Natalie Berkhout

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