(Bloomberg) -- The sale of Sanderson Farms Inc. will be delayed from its expected completion by the end of the month, the third-biggest US chicken producer said Wednesday in a securities filing.

Under the proposed deal announced last year, Sanderson would be acquired by Cargill Inc. and Continental Grain Co. and combined with chicken producer Wayne Farms LLC. The tie-up values Laurel, Mississippi-based Sanderson at $4.53 billion or $203 a share. 

Democrats in Washington have been pushing back against consolidation in the highly concentrated meat sector, raising concerns surrounding the deal. 

In the filing, Sanderson said it “no longer expects” the merger to be completed in the first half of 2022 but “continues to expect” that it will be completed.

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