Cargill and the Continental Grain Company Monday announced a joint-venture agreement to acquire Sanderson Farms, the third-largest poultry producer in the U.S. The all-cash purchase totals $4.53 billion, or $203 per share, a 30.3 percent premium to Sanderson Farms’ share price of $155.74 on June 18, 2021. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Upon completion of the transaction, Cargill and Continental Grain will combine Sanderson Farms with Wayne Farms, a subsidiary of Continental Grain, to form a new, privately held poultry business.
The new company will be well positioned to enhance its service to customers across retail and food service and drive organic growth in an industry fueled by affordability and key consumer trends around the health, sustainability, and versatility of chicken.
“We are proud to be joining with Cargill and Continental Grain and we are confident that they will be strong stewards of the Sanderson Farms team, brand and assets going forward. As part of the newly created company, Sanderson Farms and its new owners will remain committed to the employees, poultry producers, customers, communities, environment, and animals under our care, and to continuing to deliver the highest quality products and the best service in our industry to our customers”, said Joe Sanderson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sanderson Farms.
The new company will have state-of-the-art operations and will continue to invest in its workforce and in employee safety. Operations will include poultry processing plants and prepared foods plants across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas.
“At Cargill, we are committed to nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way,” said David MacLennan, Chairman and CEO of Cargill. “Expanding our poultry offerings to the U.S. is a key enabler of our ability to meet customer and consumer demands. With these great businesses, and our strong partnership, we believe we will deliver a superior portfolio of products and services to our customers.”
Cargill expects to support the new joint venture with its longstanding relationships with retail and foodservice customers. Wayne Farms, part of Continental Grain’s food, agriculture and commodities investment portfolio since 1965, has roots in the poultry industry that go back more than a century.