There’s still no word from Smithfield Foods about industry speculation of a possible suitor for the company. Smithfield Foods isn't commenting on a report that JBS SA- a Brazilian meat producer-  may be weighing an effort to take over the Virginia-based company.

The report in the Brazilian publication Valor Economico launched Smithfield's shares up 20 cents to $15.08 on Tuesday, a day when the markets otherwise plummeted.

The report said JBS SA may be interested in starting talks with Smithfield which operates eight U.S. hog slaughter plants with combined capacity to process 110,000 head a day, or about 26 percent of U.S. capacity. The Smithfield, Va.-based company had revenue of $11.2 billion last year.

A spokeswoman for Smithfield Foods said Thursday "the company does not comment on marketplace rumors." The company's shares traded below $15 on Thursday.

JBS is the world's largest beef producer. In 2007, JBS acquired Swift & Co. in the U.S. and Australia and became the world leader in slaughtering capacity.

JBS purchased Smithfield's beef business in 2008 for $565 million in cash. Last year, JBS bought a majority stake in Texas-based Pilgrim Pride Corp., a chicken processor, for $800 million.

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Source: Fayetteville Observer