Poultry producer Foster Farms exploring a sale as industry consolidates

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The company is working with an adviser as it solicits takeover interest from bidders including private equity firms.

By Gillian Tan and Crystal Tse

Foster Farms, a family-owned poultry producer, is exploring a sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Livingston, California-based company is working with an adviser as it solicits takeover interest from bidders including private equity firms, the people said. 

“Foster Farms has and will continue to evaluate strategic partnerships with customers, suppliers and other partners,” Helen Kurtz, the company’s chief marketing officer, said in an emailed statement. “We are confident in our strategic plan, and will determine if partnerships further enhance our competitive position,” Kurtz said, adding that Foster Farms will keep its employees, customers and stakeholders informed of any significant developments.

Founded in 1939 by Max and Verda Foster as a single farm in Modesto, California, the company makes fresh, pre-marinated and fully cooked chicken and turkey products, its website shows. Foster Farms has said its products are free of preservatives, additives and injected sodium enhancers, and that its flocks are raised in barns instead of cages, enabling it to be certified by the American Humane Association. 

Tyson Foods Inc. held talks about buying Foster Farms in 2019, CNBC reported at the time. No deal was consummated. 

Demand for poultry products has spurred consolidation. In August, Cargill Inc. and Continental Grain Co. agreed to buy U.S. chicken producer Sanderson Farms Inc. for $4.53 billion in cash, while JBS proposed acquiring the stake in Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. that it didn’t already own. 

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