Pilgrim's Pride Sells Turkey Plant

Company exits turkey business to concentrate on chicken.

Pilgrim's Pride Corp., the largest chicken producer in the U.S., with additional interests in commercial egg and turkey production, announced today that the company has sold its turkey processing plant in New Oxford, Penn., to New Oxford Foods LLC, which completes Pilgrim's Pride's exit from the turkey business. The company earlier sold its Virginia turkey plant to a cooperative of turkey growers.

The sale allows Pilgrim's Pride to focus on its long-term strategy of building its core chicken business, said chief executive officer and president Clint Rivers. He noted that the turkey division made "positive improvements" in recent years but remained too small to be competitive and show "acceptable levels of profitability." The division had fiscal 2007 sales that totaled $122.3 million.

The New Oxford plant, which includes a distribution center, can process 175,000 turkeys per week and has 530 employees. According to the agreement, New Oxford Foods will offer positions to all New Oxford employees and will honor all current contracts with Pilgrim's Pride's turkey growers in the region. Terms of the sale were not released.

Source: Feedstuffs

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