Speaking with DairyReporter.com, Miguel Jimenez, spokesperson, BRF, revealed that non-disclosure agreements have been signed with a total of 14 potential suitors for the Sao Paulo-based company’s dairy business.
Bloomberg, citing sources close to BRF, reported earlier this week that Danone, Lactalis and Mexican dairy giant Grupo Lala were among a number of companies to have expressed their interest in the up-for-grabs dairy division.
Jimenez declined to confirm whether the three aforementioned dairies were among those that have signed non-disclosure agreements in advance of further talks.
“The company isn’t commenting on this issue,” he said.
DairyReporter.com approached Paris-based Danone, which currently controls an 11.5% stake of the Brazilian dairy market, regarding the reports, but no reply was forthcoming prior to publication.
Attempts by this publication to contact Lactalis and Mexico City-based Grupo Lala were also fruitless.
Nestlé, partly through its Dairy Partners Americas (DPA) venture, is the largest player in the Brazilian dairy market, controlling 15.7% of the market, according to Euromonitor.
BRF is the country’s third largest dairy – behind second place Danone – with a market stake of 10.3%.
In February 2014, BRF announced that it was “considering strategic alternatives for its dairy division including the formation of partnerships or the partial sale of such assets to third parties.”
BRF's decision to divest its dairy business is reportedly in line with its desire to focus on its meat industry interests.