Northern Ireland meat company Dunbia has dismissed speculation it is on the brink of being sold to Brazilian meat giant Marfrig.
Jim Dobson, managing director of the Dungannon-based firm, denied a newspaper report that the firm was in advanced negotiations with Moy Park owners Marfrig.
"Dunbia can categorically state that the company is not in negotiations with Marfrig or anyone else for that matter, and any assertion to the contrary is entirely untrue.
"Dunbia is a local, privately owned company, and we are fully committed to the growth and development of our operations in Ireland and the UK.
"We have strategic investment plans in place to ensure we continue to meet our customers' requirements and develop new business opportunities."
Dunbia is one of the UK and Ireland's leading meat processors, employing more than 3,200 people across 11 sites.
The company was established in 1980 when cattle-dealing brothers Jim and Jack Dobson decided to buy a butcher shop in Dungannon, Co Tyrone.
The company now slaughters 320,000 cattle and two million sheep a year. It employs 280 staff in the Republic in its plants in Kilbeggan and Slane.