BRF AND MARFRIG are in talks about a potential merger that would create one of the world’s largest meat producers.

BRF, the world leading exporter of poultrymeat and Marfrig, the second-largest beef producer in the world, have signed a memorandum of understanding kicking off talks between the two businesses.

They will have 90 days to draw conclusions with the option to extend that consultation by 30 days if additional research or negotiation is required, a statement said.

An exchange of shares is envisaged, with the attribution of 84.98% of the equity interest in the new company to BRF shareholders and 15.02% to Marfrig shareholders.

A spokesman added it was hoped the merger would increase the number of regions in which the company would operate and the number of proteins, while reducing risk. “The new company resulting from the business combination could become the industry leader in its markets.”

Reuters reported that not all BRF directors supported the proposal, questioning “how a tie-up would fit with the strategy of Chairman and Chief Executive Pedro Parente to cut debt, sell assets and restructure operations after a string of losses”.