AFTER failing to land its bid to acquire bankrupt pork producer AgFeed earlier this year, Illinois-based pork company The Maschhoffs set its sights on a different target, this time successfully acquiring one of the nation's leading poultry companies.
The Maschhoffs — the largest family-owned pork production company in North America — announced Nov. 22 that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire GNP Co., a leading Midwest producer of chicken under the Gold'n Plump, Just BARE and Sunny Roost brands.
GNP will continue to operate as a separate business unit, according to the announcement, and the two firms said the transaction will have no immediate impact on GNP's chicken business or The Maschhoffs' pork production business.
In August, The Maschhoffs was outbid in U.S. bankruptcy court for the assets of embattled pork producer AgFeed Industries. The company had set the floor for the bankruptcy auction at $79 million. Three other suitors partnered instead to divvy up the assets in a deal that AgFeed's attorneys felt was more favorable based on the company's structure.
Its second acquisition attempt of the year, it seems, was a complete success.
GNP's headquarters will remain in St. Cloud, Minn., and the firm will retain its nearly 1,700 team members and 350 family farm partners.
Based in Carlyle, Ill., The Maschhoffs is owned by fifth-generation family members Dave Maschhoff and his wife Karen and Ken Maschhoff and his wife Julie. The company partners with more than 450 family farmers across the Midwest to produce enough pork to feed more than 16 million consumers annually.
"No changes in business operations or company commitments are planned as a result of this acquisition," said Mike Helgeson, chief executive officer and third-generation leader of GNP. "GNP Co. will continue to build on its reputation as the Midwest's leading provider of premium quality chicken brands and products."
GNP sales are expected to top $400 million in 2013, and the transaction will allow the company to grow beyond its current capacity, according to Helgeson.
"For the past year, our facilities have been running at capacity, with more demand on the horizon," he said.
According to the Feedstuffs Reference Issue & Buyers Guide, The Maschhoffs is the fourth-largest pork-producing company in the U.S., with nearly 200,000 sows in its system. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.