SAO PAULO -- Cargill Inc. is considering bidding for Pilgrim's Pride Corp, a U.S.-based chicken processor controlled by Brazilian group JBS SA, newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo reported on Wednesday.

A JBS representative said Pilgrim's Pride is not for sale. A spokesman for Cargill told the Star Tribune the company does not comment on market rumors or speculation.

The report did not cite how it obtained the information.

JBS, the world's largest meatpacker, purchased a controlling stake in Pilgrim's Pride in 2009 for $2.8 billion, backed by a $2 billion loan from state development bank BNDES.

JBS is now rushing to sell assets and raise cash in order to help its holding company, J&F Investimentos SA, pay a big fine after becoming embroiled in sweeping graft probes that ensnared politicians and executives.

JBS said last month that its majority stake in Pilgrim's Pride Corp is not for sale because it was critical to its long-term strategy of pursuing business opportunities that reduce volatility and enhance margins.