George’s Inc. has signed a letter of intent to buy the Tyson Foods Inc. poultry complex in Harrisonburg, Va., officials from both companies have announced.
The sale price has not been disclosed; however, representatives from both companies said they hope to complete the deal soon, pending execution of a definitive agreement and completion of customary closing conditions. “We believe Tyson’s Harrisonburg complex will be a good fit for our company, complementing our existing poultry operations in Harrisonburg and nearby Edinburg,” said Gary George, Chairman and CEO of George’s. “We don’t plan to make any immediate changes and expect to retain substantially all of the people currently employed by Tyson at Harrisonburg. It’s also our intention to honor the contracts Tyson has with the 121 contract farms that raise chickens for the complex.”
Tyson’s Harrisonburg complex currently employs more than 500 people. Operations include the processing plant in Harrisonburg and a hatchery in Broadway, as well as a feed mill and truck shop in New Market. “Harrisonburg has been an important part of Tyson for many years and has a great workforce; however, we believe it makes economic sense for us to sell the plant and divert more of our resources to some of our other operations,” said Donnie King, senior group vice president of Poultry and Prepared Foods for Tyson.
The Harrisonburg complex was among the poultry operations Tyson acquired in 1989, when it purchased Holly Farms. The complex currently produces commodity boneless and whole bird chicken as well as chicken leg quarters for sale to retail, foodservice and international customers. The potential sale does not affect Tyson’s other operations in Virginia, which include poultry production complexes at Glen Allen and Temperanceville.