JBS, the majority stockholder of Greeley-based Pilgrim's Pride, said Friday that a deal to lease chicken plants in Brazil will boost its chicken production capacity by 15 percent.

The Brazilian meat giant reached an agreement to lease and operate assets of Frangosul, controlled by Groupe Doux in France, JBS said in a statement. JBS will not take on any debt in the transaction.

The deal will push JBS' chicken production to nearly 9 million birds daily, JBS said.

"The assets will permit JBS to have a relevant operation in the chicken sector in Brazil, allowing technology and knowledge transfer between its various production units," the company said in a statement.

JBS will create a new unit, JBS Chicken Brazil, and will name James Cleary as chief executive officer.