Dawn Meats is one of the largest meat processors in Northern Ireland and is reportedly set to launch a takeover of Dungannon-based beef and lamb producer Dunbia for an undisclosed sum.
"We note with interest the ongoing speculation that Dawn Meats may be looking at a tie-up with Dunbia, which would make for a formidable protein combination across the island of Ireland," said Dr Clive Black, director at Shore Capital.
"Whilst this is all so, speculation has suggested other tie-ups involving Dunbia in recent times and so it may make sense to await the vocal charms of the fulsome lady in the corner before engaging in too much commentary."
An industry expert who asked not to be named, said there are "strong rumours" Dawns Meats will take over Dunbia. The source added the deal has been "the worst kept secret for the past six months".
Dawn Meats declined to comment on the rumours. All a company representative told this site is this: "It is Dawn Meats policy not to comment on market speculation or rumour".
Dunbia could not be reached for comment on rumours in the Irish and British press that a takeover is in the pipeline.
There has no been news about talks between Dawn Meats and Dunbia, but the latest speculation comes after Dunbia offloaded its pork business to Cranswick in November 2016 for an undisclosed sum.
This came after a talks over a mega-merger between Dunbia and 2 Sisters Food Group reportedly collapsed in August 2016.
The business has been continually linked with takeover bids or mergers with the owners keen to find a buyer for Dunbia. In January 2016, there were strong rumours that Brazilian meat giant JBS was reportedly sniffing around Dunbia, although this was dismissed as "pure speculation".
Dunbia started business life in 1976 as a butchers shop (then called Dungannon Meats).
Dawn Meats was founded in 1980 by three farming families and built its first abattoir in 1985.