Butterball majority owner Maxwell Farms LLC said it’s “exploring all options” following a move by Smithfield Foods Inc. subsidiary Murphy-Brown Holding LLC to buy Butterball Inc.

Maxwell Farms President Walter Pelletier said, “Our desire is to be the buyer of Butterball, which is the strongest brand in the turkey industry. We believe in the long-term business outlook of Butterball, and we are currently pursuing several opportunities that will allow us to proceed with our desire to be the buyer of Butterball.”


According to the agreement, Maxwell Farms now has the option to buy Murphy-Brown’s membership interest in Butterball or sell their membership interest, based on the price put forth by Murphy-Brown. The decision under the buy/sell action is expected to be finalized no later than September 2010 and closed by the end of the year.