JBS, Hormel Foods Make Purchases

Feb. 24, 2020
JBS and Hormel Foods have both bought niche meat processing companies to shore up their product portfolios.

JBS and Hormel Foods have both bought niche meat processing companies to shore up their product portfolios.

JBS USA, the American arm of the Brazilian meatpacking giant, has announced an agreement to acquire Empire Packing Co., a supplier of case-ready beef, pork and poultry. Its Ledbetter brand includes specialty products like steaks, smoked pork and turkey wings.

The deal, which must still be approved by regulators, includes production facilities in Cincinnati; Denver; Memphis; Mason, Ohio, and Olympia, Wash.

“Today’s announcement highlights our ongoing commitment to diversifying our product offerings,” Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA, said in a statement. “Empire is a longstanding respected family-owned company with strong leadership and quality assets in strategic locations across the U.S. that fit well in our business model.”

Hormel, meanwhile, is buying Sadler’s Smokehouse, a processor of smoked and other specialty meats for retail and foodservice, for $270 million.

Sadler’s had been supplying smoked meats for Hormel’s Austin Blues foodservice line of products for more than 20 years. The purchase is similar to Hormel’s acquisition of Burke Marketing Corp. and Fontanini Foods, which had been selling pizza toppings and foodservice meat products, respectively, to Hormel for years before being acquired.

“The beauty of these deals is it really is a one-on-one negotiation based on relationships you’ve built over decades,” Hormel CEO Jim Snee told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

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