(Adds details of talks, company background)
By Anthony Boadle
BRASILIA, May 30 (Reuters) - Brazilian food processors BRF SA and Marfrig Global Foods SA on Thursday opened exclusive talks for a potential tie-up that would create one of the world's largest meat producers, according to securities filings.
A deal could combine BRF's poultry business, which leads the world in chicken exports, and Marfrig's beef business, which is second to JBS SA globally. Their combined market capitalization was 27.8 billion reais ($7 billion) at Thursday's market close.
A resulting deal could consolidate their assets and shares in a new company, the companies said. Current BRF shareholders would hold a stake of roughly 85%, with the rest held by Marfrig shareholders, the companies said, though they emphasized that a final structure has not been defined.
The companies said the relative valuations were based on share prices over the past 45 days.
BRF shares have fallen in each of the past four calendar years and are down nearly 60% from their 2015 peak, as a mega-merger in 2009 failed to yield promised results and a private equity-led shakeup led to three consecutive annual losses.
Marfrig shares are broadly flat over the same period, while shares of rival JBS have nearly doubled so far this year. ($1 = 3.9816 reais) (Reporting by Anthony Boadle in Brasilia Writing and additional reporting by Brad Haynes Editing by James Dalgleish and Matthew Lewis)