Greeley-based Pilgrim’s Pride to buy Midwestern chicken company for $350 million
Greeley-based Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. will expand its footprint, and its organic offerings, this year with a planned acquisition of a Midwestern chicken company for $350 million.
The company announced it had reached an agreement to acquire GNP Co., a provider of chicken products in the upper Midwest, in an all-cash deal that is expected to close in the first three months of the new year.
“The Pilgrim’s team is excited to combine the collective strengths of Pilgrim’s Pride and GNP Co.,” said Bill Lovette, Pilgrim’s CEO in a news release. “GNP Co. boasts outstanding state-of-the-art assets in geographic areas where Pilgrim’s is not currently present, providing Pilgrim’s the opportunity to expand our production and customer bases, while maintaining our high standards for quality service and great-tasting products.”
The release stated GNP Co.’s “operational competencies and use of innovative technologies, including gas stunning, aeroscalding and automated deboning, will enable Pilgrim’s to significantly increase the rate of adoption of new technologies in existing facilities, enhancing the company’s production efficiencies and operational excellence.”
The acquisition will add GNP’s lines of Just BARE Certified Organic and Natural/American Humane CertifiedTM/No-Antibiotics-Ever product lines to Pilgrim’s existing organic production capabilities, the release stated.
The release states the deal will not only expand Pilgrim’s geographic footprint, but its growing natural and organic product lines.
“Today’s announcement is a clear demonstration of Pilgrim’s commitment to our growth strategy of disciplined acquisitions that enhance both our portfolio of value-added products and our ability to provide key customers with the high quality products demanded by consumers,” Lovette said in the release. “We look forward to welcoming GNP Company’s team members and family farmer partners to the Pilgrim’s team as we continue to position Pilgrim’s as the preferred choice of consumers and retail and foodservice partners across the country.”
The deal is expected to help Pilgrim’s save $20 million per year through efficiencies in production and distribution systems, as well as cost-savings in purchasing, production and administrative functions.
The move tracks with JBS’s growth patterns in recent years by slowly gaining market share through acquisitions. Pilgrim’s just last year bought Tyson Foods’ Mexican operations for $400 million. JBS, which has worldwide operations, acquired a majority stake in Pilgrims Pride in 2009.❖
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