SÃO PAULO, Brazil – JBS SA and Marfrig Alimentos SA announced the two companies have closed a deal in which JBS acquires Seara Brasil for R$5.85 billion ($2.5 billion).

In September, CADE, Brazil's antitrust agency, approved the purchase of Seara Brasil by JBS without restrictions. As part of the agreement, JBS will receive a mix of long- and short-term debt, with the majority denominated in dollars and the rest in reais. For Marfrig, the deal means a cut in net debt that jumped sevenfold in the past five years to about 10 billion reais as of March 31.

With the acquisition of Seara Brasil, JBS has overtaken Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods, Inc. as the top poultry producer in the world. The acquisition includes processed foods, poultry and pork processing plants, along with 21 distribution centers. The deal also includes the Zenda tannery unit in Uruguay.

"By the sale of the Seara Brasil and Zenda businesses, Marfrig rebalances its capital structure and strengthens its global strategic redirection to the food service business segment, whereas JBS pursues to expand its portfolio of processed and branded meat products and to capture synergies from the businesses it has acquired," the companies said in a joint statement. "In either case, the ultimate goal of the two Companies is to generate value for shareholders."