Northern Irish meat processor Dunbia has moved to quash rumours it is the subject of a takeover bid by Brazil's Marfrig Group.

Speculation that Dunbia was to be taken over by Marfrig, the world's fourth-biggest beef processor, had been doing the rounds for months. Last week the Irish Farmers' Journal published an article claiming Marfrig had launched a formal bid.

Dunbia issued a formal statement denying there was any truth in the rumours. "Dunbia can categorically state that the company is not in negotiations with Marfrig or anyone else for that matter," said Jim Dobson, Dunbia co-owner and group MD, adding that Dunbia was fully committed to its operations in Ireland and the UK.

In 2008 Marfrig acquired Northern Irish poultry processor Moy Park. Dunbia supplies beef, lamb and pork to major retailers in the Republic of Ireland and the UK.