Tyson Foods has reportedly been in talks about potentially buying privately owned Livingston, California-based Foster Farms for approximately $2 billion, people familiar with the situation told CNBC.  Neither Tyson Foods nor Foster Farms have specifically commented on the talks and Tyson said it does not comment on rumors or speculation.

The talks for Tyson Foods to acquire Foster Farms come just months after Tyson Foods closed its $2.16 billion acquisition of Keystone Foods, which further expanded Tyson’s capabilities in Asia.  Keystone, a former subsidiary of Brazil’s Marfrig Global Foods, is a large supplier of beef, chicken, and fish to McDonald’s.

Sources indicated that the two companies have not reached agreement on a price and it is possible that the talks may fall apart.

Foster Farms employs approximately 12,000 people in turkey production in Turlock and at chicken plants in Livingston, Fresno, Porterville, the Pacific Northwest and the South.   Foster Farms is one of the largest employers in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.  Its products include whole chickens and turkeys, fresh poultry parts, ground meat, deli slices, marinated products, frozen patties and corn dogs.   The family-owned company started in 1939 and it remains under family ownership.  The company has annual revenue of $2.4 billion, according to Forbes

“As a policy, Foster Farms never comments on speculated mergers and acquisitions activity.  While inquiries and rumors have come and gone for decades, Foster Farms has thrived as a family-owned company for 80 years.  We are fully confidant in our future success as a stand-alone company,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Tyson Foods employs about 121,000 people around the world and reported about $40 billion in 2018 sales. The company’s 42 brands include Tyson chicken, Jimmy Dean Sausage, Hillshire Farm sausage and deli meat, Ball Park hot dogs, Aidells sausage and State Fair corn dogs.

CNBC reported that Noel White said during a November earnings call that 90 percent of global protein demand is likely to occur outside the United States and his priority was to expand the company’s prepared, value-added products and international market presence.