BRF shares pare gains on report of potential JBS interest

FILE PHOTO: Meat processing company BRF SA's logo is pictured in its unit in Fortaleza, Brazil January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - BRF shares pared early gains on Friday after O Globo columnist Lauro Jardim reported that meatpacker JBS was possibly interested in buying the Brazilian food processor.

BRF shares, which had risen up to 10% at the market opening, were up 2% almost one hour into the trading session, at 28.50 reais. JBS told Reuters it does not comment on “speculation” after the report in the O Globo newspaper.

Rival meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods announced last week it reached a 31% stake in BRF and has informed Brazilian antitrust watchdog CADE of the deal..

Although Marfrig has become the largest shareholder in BRF, the company has insisted it will not take over its rival and will be a passive investor.

Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer and Paula Laier; Editing by Alexander Smith