Oakwood, Georgia-based Wayne Farms LLC, a subsidiary of Continental Grain Co., announced that on Oct. 17 it completed the sale of its Fresh Processing Complex in Laurel, Mississippi, to Amick Farms.
The complex includes live production, hatchery, feed mill, manufacturing and production facilities. The divestiture is a key milestone toward completing the previously announced transaction, which will combine Wayne Farms and Sanderson Farms Inc. under the joint ownership and control of Cargill and Continental Grain.
“We’ve had a very long and positive relationship with the Laurel community, and we’re glad we’ve been able to reach an agreement with a solid operator like Amick Farms who shares our values and will continue that community partnership,” said Clint Rivers, president and CEO of Wayne Farms LLC. “The decision to sell the Laurel facility was not easy for Wayne Farms, but this is an important step in completing the proposed transaction with Sanderson Farms. We are thankful for Amick Farms’ commitment to the Laurel workers and the community, and we’re confident the plant will continue to operate and thrive under their ownership.”
As previously announced on Aug. 9, Cargill, Continental Grain and Sanderson Farms reached a definitive agreement for a joint venture between Cargill and Continental Grain to acquire Sanderson Farms and combine it with Wayne Farms to form a new, privately held U.S. poultry business with a high-quality asset base, complementary operating cultures and an industry-leading management team and workforce.
On Oct. 21, Sanderson Farms stockholders approved the transaction during a special meeting of stockholders, completing another key milestone in the closing process. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021 or early 2022, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Based in Batesburg, South Carolina, Amick Farms currently operates two other vertically integrated facilities in South Carolina and Maryland, employing approximately 3,000 employees. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
William Blair served as financial advisor and Boles Holmes White LLC served as legal advisor to Wayne Farms in this transaction. Nexsen Pruet served as legal advisor to Amick Farms.
Wayne Farms LLC is the seventh-largest vertically integrated poultry producer in the U.S. with annual sales exceeding $2 billion. A subsidiary of Continental Grain Co., Wayne Farms owns and operates 10 fresh and further-processed facilities throughout the Southeast, produces more than 2.6 billion pounds of poultry products each year and employs more than 9,000 individuals.
It produces products under the brand names of Wayne Farms fresh and prepared chicken; Platinum Harvest premium fresh chicken; Chef’s Craft gourmet chicken; Naked Truth premium chicken; and Ladybird Select premium chicken.