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Pork, poultry giants merge to meet growing demand

Jeff Caldwell 11/25/2013 @ 9:52am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

In a move to continue to meet a growing protein demand in the U.S. and abroad, a couple of giants in different sectors of the livestock industry are joining forces.

Pork giant The Maschhoffs, LLC, is acquiring GNP Company, a large Midwest chicken producer and marketer of products under labels like Gold'n Plump. The deal encompasses both GNP Company and its subsidiaries, according to a company report.

Company leaders say The Maschhoffs buy of GNP Company, which is projected to see sales in excess of $400 million in 2013, will help the two protein leaders streamline efficiencies and better "take advantage of growth opportunities that will make us all more successful," says GNP Company CEO Mike Helgeson.

“By joining forces, we can leverage our core strengths, capitalize on growth opportunities, and create new value in the marketplace — thus making the combined company stronger than each would be separately," he adds.

Adds The Maschhoffs CEO Jason Logsdon: "Our overall goal is to continue to grow both the pork and chicken businesses while enhancing our ability to meet the needs of our valued customers and of a growing population."

The transaction of St. Cloud, Minnesota-based GNP Company by Carlyle, Illinois-based The Maschhoffs, LLC, will yield few, if any, changes to the management team of the former company, Logsdon adds. More than 350 farms produce for GNP Company, which employs around 1,700.

"Our intent is to manage GNP Company as a separate business unit next to our current pork production business," Logsdon says. "GNP Company will continue to be led by its present management team, with the support of its current team members and contract growers."

At the heart of the transaction, company leaders say, is continued growth in demand for all protein sectors, especially in emerging new markets overseas. Feeding that demand is a major priority for both companies, leaders say, and the merger will make it easier to do just that.

"For the past year, our facilities have been running at capacity with more demand on the horizon," GNP Company's Helgeson says.

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