June 11, 2018 / 4:38 PM / 4 months ago

Brazil's Marfrig to get bids for U.S. chicken processor by end-June: source

SAO PAULO, June 11 (Reuters) - Potential bidders for Brazilian meatpacker Marfrig Global Foods SA’s U.S.-based chicken processor Keystone Foods are expected to deliver binding proposals by the end of the month, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Three of the five companies Marfrig selected in the first phase of the sale are in Asia, the source added, asking for anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the process publicly.

COFCO, China Investment Corp, known as CIC, and Fosun International Ltd are competing with Cargill Inc and Tyson Foods Inc for a controlling stake in Keystone, which supplies chicken nuggets to McDonald’s Corp.

Marfrig acquired Keystone eight years ago for $1.26 billion and expects to sell it for more than double that - a price of up to $3 billion - sources have said.

Marfrig, COFCO, CIC, Fosun, Cargill and Tyson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pennsylvania-based Keystone is exempt from anti-dumping measures adopted last week by China on imports of Brazilian chicken meat, news that weighed heavily on shares of rival BRF SA.

Proceeds from the Keystone sale are expected to help Marfrig pay off debt taken on to finance its April acquisition of U.S.-based National Beef Packing Co for $969 million. (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, editing by G Crosse)

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