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Pilgrim's Pride Leaves Turkey Sector Behind

by 5m Editor
11 March 2008, at 2:12pm

US - The world's largest chicken producer, Pilgrim's Pride, has announced that it is selling up a turkey production facility in New York due to disappointing movement in the sector.

Financial terms were not disclosed, and there was no material gain or loss as a result of this transaction. As a result of this sale, which is effective immediately, Pilgrim's Pride is no longer a producer of turkey, a business it entered in 2001 with the purchase of WLR Foods, Inc.


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"The sale of the New Oxford complex will allow Pilgrim's Pride to focus on our long-term strategy of building our core chicken business"
Clint Rivers, president and chief executive officer.

Pilgrim's Pride reported total U.S. turkey sales of $122.3 million for fiscal 2007. The New Oxford facility processes 175,000 turkeys per week and employs approximately 530 workers, including the distribution center.

"The sale of the New Oxford complex will allow Pilgrim's Pride to focus on our long-term strategy of building our core chicken business," said Clint Rivers, president and chief executive officer. "Despite the positive improvements made in our turkey business over the past few years, we found that our small size and scale in this segment made it difficult to achieve acceptable levels of profitability on a consistent basis."

Mr. Rivers said the sale of the New Oxford complex is not expected to have any significant short-term impact on Pilgrim's Pride's current turkey customers. As part of the sale agreement, New Oxford Foods will continue to co-pack product for Pilgrim's Pride through the end of September, and Pilgrim's Pride will work closely with customers to avoid unexpected interruptions in delivery of frozen turkeys through Thanksgiving.

Under the terms of the agreement, New Oxford Foods will offer positions to all New Oxford employees and will honor all current contracts with Pilgrim's Pride turkey growers.

"We believe the New Oxford turkey operation will present an excellent opportunity for New Oxford Foods to concentrate its resources on building its all-natural business for the long term and unlocking its true growth potential in this unique market segment," Mr. Rivers said.

5m Editor