Smithfield Foods has announced an agreement to purchase Farmland Foods along with Farmlands’ pork production and processing business — including the pork processing plant in Denison and the ham plant in Carroll. The sale to Smithfield is not a certainty — as Farmland spokesperson Sherlyn Manson says they are seeking to get the maximum value out of the company for creditors in its Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. She says they’ve worked out an agreement that sets the floor of what they’ll sell the company for, but it’s now in an auction process that’ll occur over the next few months. Manson says the auction process could end up with the company in the hands of a company other than Smithfield.She says there has been a lot of interest in the company, so they look forward to a lively auction. Manson says the deal with Smithfield ensures that Farmland’s facilities remain open and operating at current production levels. She says it would secure the jobs of all six-thousand-123 employees, and she believes other agreements would do the same. Over 14-hundred of those employees work in Denison and 100 work in Carroll. The sale of Farmland Foods was proceeded by the sale of the company’s other assets, and Manson says all that information will become clearer down the road. She says they’ll file their disclosure statements on the sale of other businesses later this month as they give a picture of what the company will look like as they emerge from bankruptcy. The sale of Farmland to Smithfield has raised concerns about concentration in the pork industry. Iowa’s Attorney General issued a statement saying his office is reviewing the legal implications the transaction raises for competition in pork production and pork processing in Iowa.
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