Wayne Farms to sell Laurel poultry complex to Amick Farms

Amick Farms has agreed to acquire Wayne Farms’ poultry complex in Laurel, Mississippi.

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Elle Aon | Bigstock.com
Elle Aon | Bigstock.com

Amick Farms has agreed to acquire Wayne Farms’ poultry complex in Laurel, Mississippi.

Included in the transaction, which is expected to close on October 17, are the processing plant, hatchery, feed mill and live production assets.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The agreement was reached about a month after Wayne Farms announced its intent to sell the Laurel complex, and about two months after it was announced that Cargill and Continental Grain, the owner of Wayne Farms, formed a joint venture and agreed to acquire Sanderson Farms and merge the two companies.

Sanderson Farms is headquartered in Laurel, and also operates a poultry complex there.

“We’ve had a very long and positive relationship with the Laurel community, and we’re glad we’ve been able to reach an agreement with a solid operator like Amick Farms, who will continue that community partnership,” said Clint Rivers, president and CEO of Wayne Farms. “While the decision to sell the Laurel facility was not easy for Wayne Farms, this is an important step in completing our proposed transaction with Sanderson Farms. We are thankful for Amick Farms’ commitment to the Laurel workers and the community, and we’re grateful to know that the plant will continue to operate and thrive under their ownership.” 

The poultry plant recently underwent a $16.9 million expansion and upgrade, which included the addition of a processing line and equipment, including cutting, deboning, portioning, packaging and upgraded X-ray technology, all tied to the company’s Ladybird premium line of chicken products. The expansion also made way for the creation of about 200 jobs.

Wayne Farms’ Laurel plant was built in 1957 by Allied Mills. According to a fact sheet on the Wayne Farms website, there are 391 employees at the plant and it supports 220 poultry growers.

Products produced at the facility include boneless breasts, trimmed breasts, tenders, wings, boneless whole legs, drumsticks, paws and giblets.

Amick Farms, which also operates facilities in South Carolina and Maryland, is a U.S. subsidiary of OSI Group, the world’s 35th largest poultry company. OSI also operates Australia’s Turosi and China’s Otto & Sons Weihai.

“We are excited to welcome the team members and growers in Laurel and surrounding communities to our family,” said Ben Harrison, president of Amick Farms. “Growing our business is an ongoing goal of ours, and this transaction was the perfect opportunity to grow our Amick team.” 

The acquisition gives the company the opportunity and resources to grow with their customer base and develop new customer partners, provide more quality products and continue customer service excellence, Harrison said.

According to the WATTPoultry.com Top Companies Database, Sanderson Farms, Wayne Farms and Amick Farms presently rank third, seventh and 12th among U.S. poultry companies, respectively. As feed producers, the Sanderson Farms, Wayne Farms and OSI Group respectively rank 27th, 59th and 85th.

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