Cargill and Continental Grain have announced that they have paid $4.53 billion to acquire Sanderson Farms, the third-largest chicken producer in the U.S., which runs hatcheries, feed mills, and chicken processing plants in Georgia and across the Southeast. According to terms of the transaction, Sanderson will be combined with Wayne Farms, another large poultry producer and a subsidiary of global food and agribusiness company Continental Grain. The combination of the two companies will create a new, privately held poultry business that will be called Wayne-Sanderson Farms.
Wayne-Sanderson Farms will operate chicken processing and prepared foods plants in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas. The new company will be headquartered in Oakwood, Ga. Current CEO of Wayne Farms Clint Rivers will be the CEO of the combined company.
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“I am honored to lead the new Wayne-Sanderson Farms, which brings together a talented team with complementary operations and cultures and a strong commitment to employees, farmers, and the communities where we operate,” says Rivers. “The new company is ideally positioned to continue to serve customers and consumers with high-quality and affordable products.”
“It has been an incredible privilege to lead the Sanderson Farms team over the last 33 years and to continue my family’s legacy by helping to nourish families across the country,” says Joe F. Sanderson, Jr. “I am proud of all we have achieved together, and I am confident that the fairness, honesty, and integrity that has been synonymous with the Sanderson Farms name will carry on with Wayne-Sanderson Farms.”