The chairman and CEO of Continental Grain Company said the company may sell its stake in its poultry company, Wayne Farms. Paul Fribourg said an initial public offering for the sixth largest poultry company in the United States is a possibility as he sees it as a way to gain capital as the current commodities cycle takes another turn.
Fribourg added that the poultry industry’s future may not be as profitable as its past and present, according to a Financial Times report.
“We were at the low of the commodities cycle in chicken, because grain prices were very high and chicken prices were low. So there was an opportunity to go out and buy very cheap chicken companies,” Fribourg said at a forum in New York. “Today the cycle has gone to the other extreme, where you have incredibly high chicken prices and very low grain prices. It’s not going to last. So at the top of the cycle we’re now looking at ways to lock in either long-term margins, or possibly, for example, take our chicken company public.”
Continental Grain Company, founded in 1813, is a leading investor in food and commodities, having taken stakes in companies including Burger King and Smithfield Foods.
Wayne Farms, headquartered in Oakwood, Georgia, processes 328 million chickens annually, according to the WATT Global Media Top Companies Database.