SAO PAULO, BRAZIL – In the aftermath of rumors about an impending sale of Pilgrim’s Pride to JBS S.A. that began circulating in the media in recent days, JBS e-mailed a news release to on Sept. 2 addressing the rumor—although it never mentioned Pilgrim’s Pride. The company statement said it routinely and constantly analyzes investment opportunities for expansion and growth.

"In this sense, JBS hereby informs that there is no transaction or firm commitment by the company, at this time, which would justify the disclosure of a Material Fact regarding the possible acquisition of other companies by the company," the statement said. "The company will inform its shareholders and the market of any act or fact involving any business opportunity, as soon as there are any developments that justify such disclosure, with due regard to the applicable rules issued by the CVM and the best market practices regarding disclosures."

A story in the Sept. 2 Wall Street Journal stated JBS S.A. may announce as soon as next week, the acquisition of Pilgrim's Pride Corp. for more than $2 billion. Although the deal was reportedly in the final stages of negotiation on Wednesday, the story said it could still fall apart at the last moment.

Should this rumor prove true and become a reality, the acquisition of Pilgrim’s Pride by JBS S.A. would create a super protein company that could rival Tyson Foods Inc. -- the only major meat company in the U.S. processing beef, pork and chicken.