Donnie King, Tyson Foods senior group vice president, poultry and prepared foods, said the company might be interested in expanding its prepared foods business, while speaking at a J.P. Morgan Global Protein Conference this week. King made these comments after a Smithfield Foods executive said they were not interested in acquiring Sara Lee’s meat business, according to a report on the conference by J.P. Morgan analyst Ken Goldman.

“We see an ample opportunity to grow our prepared food business. We already own the raw materials, and we have a strong enough balance sheet to look at building or buying further processing capacity to fill niche markets–to simply give us the ability to convert our raw materials utilizing what resources we have financially in terms of footprints and otherwise and then leverage those relationships that we have with our customers,” said King.  “So we got raw material, we got resources, and relationships and we see no reason why we don’t grow this prepared food business in a pretty dramatic fashion.”