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RIO DE JANEIRO, March 1 (Reuters) - JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker, said on Tuesday its merger with rival Bertin in 2009 has been transparent and legal, responding to a newspaper report on Sunday that Brazil's tax authorities had found evidence of fraud.
In a statement JBS said "the company affirms there was no fraud, no attempts at fraud and no diminishing of any equity interests."
On Sunday, newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo reported that tax authorities are alleging the merger undervalued certain assets and was structured in a way to make the takeover of Bertin's meatpacking unit assets by JBS look like a merger of equals. This hurt minority shareholders, the paper said. (Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer)