(Adds J&F denial)
SAO PAULO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - J&F Investimentos SA, the holding company that controls the world’s largest meatpacker, said on Monday it is not considering buying Brazil’s largest diversified retailer GPA SA and cosmetics producer Natura Cosmeticos SA as reported by a local columnist.
A J&F spokesman denied the report from O Globo columnist Lauro Jardim, who without citing a source had reported earlier that J&F CEO Joesley Batista was continuing to look for acquisitions three months after the company bought a controlling stake in Alpargatas SA, the maker of the popular Havaianas flip-flops.
The holding company is run by Brazil’s billionaire Batista family that also controls a majority stake in beef producer JBS SA. The J&F spokesman said the column was “totally wrong” and neither company had been analyzed by J&F.
Shares of GPA rose 2.3 percent in Sao Paulo, while Natura rose 2 percent and JBS 1.9 percent. (Reporting by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Daniel Flynn, David Evans and Diane Craft)