SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Reuters reported that JBS S.A. is in search of more acquisitions to help it stay ahead of a number of acquisitions by rival Marfrig, according to Valor Económico. As a result, JBS may work to restart talks with Smithfield Foods Inc. to further expand into pork, Valor said.

JBS, which bought a Smithfield subsidiary, Smithfield BeefGroup, in 2008, is trying to stay head of Brazilian beef competitor Marfrig, which has expanded globally thanks to as many as 38 acquisitions in three years, Valor stated.

The market value of Smithfield is currently $2.5 billion, according to Valorms.

JBS Chief Executive Joesley Mendonca Batista said in an interview with Reuters in February if JBS made an acquisition in 2010 it would be "of an asset that expanded the company's position outside the plant gate." JBS expects sales from direct distribution to eventually reach about 55% of its total sales, compared with the present 10%, he said.