(Updates with JBS representative statement in 2nd paragraph)
SAO PAULO, July 26 (Reuters) - Global commodities trader Cargill Inc is considering bidding for Pilgrim’s Pride Corp, a U.S.-based chicken processor controlled by scandal-ridden Brazilian group JBS SA, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported on Wednesday.
A JBS representative said Pilgrim’s Pride is not for sale. An emailed request for comments from Cargill went unanswered.
The report did not cite how it obtained the information.
JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker, purchased a controlling stake in Pilgrim’s Pride in 2009 for $2.8 billion, backed by a $2 billion loan from state development bank BNDES.
JBS is now rushing to sell assets and raise cash in order to help its holding company, J&F Investimentos SA, pay a big fine after becoming embroiled in sweeping graft probes that ensnared politicians and executives.
JBS said last month that its majority stake in Pilgrim’s Pride Corp is not for sale because it was critical to its long-term strategy of pursuing business opportunities that reduce volatility and enhance margins. (Writing by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)