House of Raeford Farms has reached an agreement to purchase the business, operating assets, and trademark of Filet of Chicken Acquisition LLC of Forest Park, Georgia, from Flagship Food Group LLC. Additionally, the companies have entered into a long-term supply and joint marketing agreement.
The closing of the transaction is expected to take place no later than June 27, joining one of the nation’s top 10 chicken producers with a leading supplier of par-fried frozen poultry products.
In announcing the acquisition, Bob Johnson, president and CEO of House of Raeford, indicated that this action supports the company’s strategy announced in 2013 to expand its cooked chicken product lines in conjunction with an increase in chicken production volumes. “This will add a complete line of par-fried products to House of Raeford’s existing fully-cooked breaded, formed, whole muscle, roasted, and deli chicken and turkey products produced in our three other cook plants,” said Johnson.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will continue to operate as Filet of Chicken (FOC), and House of Raeford will honor all existing FOC supplier and customer agreements and contracts. As an independent operating unit, the current FOC management group will administer all purchasing and sales agreements.
“We feel very comfortable that the FOC team will blend very well into House of Raeford’s Cooked Products Group,” Johnson continued.
In commenting on the transaction, Rob Holland, CEO of the Flagship Food Group said, “We sincerely believe that this transaction is a win for all parties, from House of Raeford which will acquire one of the leading facilities and teams in the further processing space, to the customers and suppliers of FOC who will now be partnered with a leading poultry company that we highly respect. The transaction also is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Flagship and House of Raeford, which allows us as partners to develop innovative new products for our customers.”
Filet of Chicken employs approximately 500 associates at its metro-Atlanta plant and currently produces, among other items, battered and breaded chicken nuggets and tenders, marinated and roasted wings, and individually quick frozen (IQF) filets and tenders. FOC serves many of North America's most popular chain restaurants, grocery stores and other foodservice distribution channels. Operating an SQF Level III plant, FOC is also one of only a few further processors in the continental U. S. certified to further process individually frozen organic poultry. FOC also processes antibiotic-free poultry products.
The pending acquisition of FOC follows House of Raeford’s move to reopen a 64,000 square foot further processing cook plant in Mocksville, North Carolina, and the purchase of the Speedy Bird trademark, both of which the company announced May 27. Both the plant and Speedy Bird are formerly associated with defunct poultry company Townsends.