USA— Cargill and Continental Grain Company have finalized their US$4.5billion acquisition of Sanderson Farms, Inc. through a joint venture between the two companies.

Following the takeover, Cargill and Continental Grain have combined Sanderson Farms with Wayne Farms, a subsidiary of Continental Grain, forming a new privately held poultry business named Wayne-Sanderson Farms. As previously announced, Clint Rivers, currently CEO of Wayne Farms, has been appointed CEO of the combined company.

“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,” said Rivers.

“The new company is ideally positioned to continue to serve customers and consumers with high-quality and affordable products,” he added. Equipped with state-of-the-art operations, Wayne-Sanderson Farms will continue to invest in its stakeholders, workforce and in employee safety.

The combination of Wayne and Sanderson brings together two companies with different customer bases that could benefit from each other’s strengths.

Sanderson Farms attests to being the third-largest US poultry firm, with sales in its 2020 fiscal year exceeding US$3.5billion. The company has a huge presence in retail stores such as H-E-B, Walmart and Albertsons with its trays of fresh chicken.

Wayne Farms, which claims to be the seventh-largest poultry processor in the US, with annual sales of more than US$2billion, is largely focused on foodservice and restaurants, including Chick-fil-A and Jack in the Box.

Together, the two companies would control roughly 15% of U.S. chicken production, trailing only Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride.

Wayne-Sanderson Farms will operate chicken processing plants and prepared foods plants across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas.

Sanderson Farms shareholders are receiving US$203 per each share of common stock they owned as of immediately prior to the completion of the transaction. As a result of the completion of the transaction, Sanderson Farms’ shares will no longer trade on the NASDAQ beginning July 22, 2022.

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