Leading UK poultry producer Moy Park has been sold to Brazilian meat giant Marfrig.

The announcement came as Moy Park's parent company, the Chicago-based OSI Group, sold all of its chicken businesses in both Europe and Brazil to the South American producer. These include Moy Park's British, French and Dutch-based operations and the Penasul and Braslo companies in Brazil.

The total deal has been valued at £347m, paid for in a combination of cash and shares.

“To stay ahead these days requires a continual investment stream into both plant and people,” said Moy Park managing director Nigel Dunlop.

“We believe Marfrig will fully support us in achieving our ambitions across our operations in Northern Ireland, England, France and the Netherlands. This can only have the most positive benefits for our customers and everyone involved with Moy Park, now and in the future.”

Marfrig is the world's fourth largest beef company with a turnover of £1.2bn, and has operations across South America's southern cone. It had been rumoured to have been interested in acquiring Grampian Country Food Group before it was sold to Vion.