Directors for Mexico'sSigma Alimentos (Sigma) andBar-S Foods Co. (Bar-S) said today that they agreed to merge Sigma’s U.S. business and Bar-S, a Phoenix-based meat processor. Officials said "both of these distinguished companies have a long history of success and will now combine their strengths to form a unified company to fortify their leadership positions in the packaged meat industry."

Terms of the deal -- scheduled to close in about 30 days -- were not released.

Headquartered in Phoenix, Bar-S is a value leader and the second largest national brand in the U.S. packaged meat sector, officials said. The company operates three production plants and one distribution center in Oklahoma. Its product line includes franks, lunchmeat, bacon, dinner sausages and corn dogs, sold nationwide under the Bar-S brand.  In 2009 it posted sales of U.S. $535 million and the company employs more than 1,600 people.

Officials said the U.S. merged company will be headquartered in Phoenix and be managed by a newly selected board of directors.  Tim Day, Bar-S chairman and CEO, has been appointed Chairman and CEO of the combined enterprise.

Sergio Ramos, Sigma's senior vice president, International, will keep responsibility over Sigma USA operations and manage the post merger integration process.  Bob Kopriva will remain as senior advisor to the CEO. Officials said a Sigma USA support office will remain in Houston during the integration process.

Sigma is a subsidiary of Mexico'sALFA S.A.B. de C.V., Monterrey, Mexico.  Already a market leader in the Mexican refrigerated food business, Sigma also is active in the United States, South and Central America and the Caribbean. It owns and operates 31 plants and 144 distribution centers with product offerings of processed meats, cheese, yogurt and other refrigerated products, officials said.

ALFA, the parent company, is comprised of four business groups: Alpek (petrochemicals), Nemak (aluminum auto components), Alestra (telecommunications) and Sigma. It had revenues of approximately $8.5 billion in 2009, operates in 16 countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia and employs more than 52,000 people.