Citing a desire to "become a global player," Pilgrim's Pride Corp. said it's buying a European poultry company for $1.3 billion.

The Greeley chicken giant (Nasdaq: PPC) is buying Moy Park poultry and prepared foods company, which is based in Craigavon, Northern Ireland.

"The acquisition gives us access to the attractive United Kingdom and European markets, which advances our strategy of diversifying our portfolio to be more global while reducing volatility across our businesses," said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim's CEO, in a statement.

Moy Park was founded in 1943 and has 13 processing plants located in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and the Netherlands.

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