Gold’n Plump Parent Co. To Sell For $350M

How the deal will affect more than 1,700 employees in Minnesota and Wisconsin remains unclear.

One of the nation’s top chicken producers, GNP Company, which owns Gold'n Plump and Just Bare brands, is being sold to rival Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation for $350 million.
Greeley, Colorado-based Pilgrim’s said it would pay cash for GNP, although it did not disclose plans on how it would utilize St. Cloud-based GNP’s Minnesota production facilities in Cold Spring and Luverne, as well as its plant in Arcadia, Wisconsin.
Bill Lovette, CEO of Pilgrim’s, suggested in a statement that the company might keep at least some of GNP’s 1,700-plus employees. “We look forward to welcoming GNP Company’s team members and family farmer partners to the Pilgrim’s team,” he said. When asked about specific plans for GNP’s facilities, both Pilgrim’s and GNP declined to comment, the Star Tribune reported.
About 400 family farms provide GNP with chicken that the company processes at a rate of about 9 million pounds per week. (Pilgrim’s processes about 142 million pounds each week, according to PoultryUSA.)
Lovette added that the company saw big potential in acquiring GNP’s “outstanding state-of-the-art assets in geographic areas where Pilgrim’s is not currently present.” Specifically, GNP’s use of automated deboning and gas stunning—a practice that renders birds unconscious before they are killed—are technologies that Pilgrim’s expects will help by “enhancing the company’s production efficiencies and operational excellence.”
The company also said that GNP’s Just Bare brand would improve its production capabilities within the fast-growing organic and natural chicken market.
In addition to the operational gains, Pilgrim’s expects to capture approximately $28 million in tax savings and improve its cash flow.
The deal is expected to close during the first few months of 2017.