Cargill and Continental Grain have completed a joint acquisition of Sanderson Farms, in a deal that was held up by antitrust concerns.
The transaction, estimated at $4.53 billion, will shore up Sanderson’s position as the No. 3 U.S. poultry company by sales, bringing it closer to market leaders Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride. Sanderson will merge with Continental’s Wayne Farms to form a privately held poultry company with estimated annual sales of about $5.8 billion.
The deal had been announced almost a year ago, but was delayed because of antitrust considerations, with lawmakers raising concerns about excessive concentration in poultry processing.
The combined company will be led by Clint Rivers, currently CEO of Wayne Farms.
"I am honored to lead the new Wayne-Sanderson Farms, which brings together a talented team with complementary operations and cultures and a strong commitment to employees, farmers and the communities where we operate,” Rivers said in a statement. “The new company is ideally positioned to continue to serve customers and consumers with high-quality and affordable products."