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Southern African integrated poultry producer Astral Foods is ridding itself of a noncore asset in an effort to sharpen its focus on its poultry business. Astral reported on Wednesday that it had sold off its stake in animal nutrition business Provimi to US-based food and agriculture company Cargill for an undisclosed amount. The group could not comment on the acquisition, a spokeswoman for Astral said, citing a closed period. However, she described the cost of the acquisition as "immaterial" in terms of the JSE’s listing requirements. But Phibion Makuwere, a financial analyst at Intellidex, said the group may be more likely to make more acquisitions within the poultry business. Given the conditions, many smaller poultry farms had closed shop, he said. This suggested the sector was ripe for consolidation, "so they will be looking for opportunities and if the price is right, they will definitely buy", Makuwere said. The group, which previously owned 25% of the Provimi-branded Cargill ...

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