JBS USA today announced an agreement with J&B Group Inc. to lease J&B’s value-added meat processing facility in Pipestone, Minn., with the intent to acquire this facility in the upcoming months for an undisclosed amount. The facility was destined for imminent closure.
The pending acquisition means the facility will join JBS USA, a leading U.S.-based food company with proven expertise and a strong track record of success, protecting more than 130 jobs and ensuring that the facility remains a significant economic contributor to the Pipestone community for years to come.
“We are excited to welcome the Pipestone team members to JBS USA,” said Bob Krebs, chief operating officer of JBS USA Pork. “We have worked with the J&B team under the common goals of preserving jobs and creating a sustainable future for the facility. We believe the facility’s infrastructure and accomplished workforce present a great opportunity to expand our ability to provide high-quality products to both domestic and export markets. We plan on investing in the facility and growing the business, allowing our new team members and the local community to grow with us.”
On Sept. 18, 2019, J&B Group announced that the Pipestone facility would be sold and production relocated to its St. Michael, Minn., facility. Before JBS USA’s plan to lease and purchase the plant, J&B had not identified a buyer, and the facility was scheduled for closure this month.
After 12 years of operation in Pipestone, J&B moved production to its St. Michael facility in order to further consolidate. According to J&B president Chuck Weum, the decision to consolidate was made as the result of many factors: a change in the product portfolio, a $7.2 million investment in anticipation of new business that did not materialize and the company’s desire to invest in infrastructure at the St. Michael facility.