With protein consumption growing worldwide, America’s biggest meat producer recently announced plans to buy AdvancePierre Foods.

Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc. plans to purchase Cincinnati-based AdvancePierre, which has 1,400 employees and substantial production operations in Enid. A “definitive merger agreement” with Tyson will see a subsidiary of the company offering to acquire all of AdvancePierre’s outstanding common shares for $40.25 per share in cash.

Advance Foods and Advance Brands, based in Enid, merged with Pierre Foods of Cincinnati in September 2010. Then AdvancePierre Foods acquired Barber Foods, a Portland, Maine-based food production company in May 2011.

 Growth of the company accelerated in 2015 with acquisition of sandwich manufacturers Landshire Inc., of Caseyville, Ill., and Better Bakery LLC of Valencia, Calif. AdvancePierre Foods grew again last October with acquisition of Vineland, N.J.-based Allied Specialty Foods Inc., a producer of raw and cooked “Philly” sandwich meats.

All three of Enid’s AdvancePierre components fill different but complementary roles.

AdvancePierre’s Willow plant, which produces raw sandwich meat, has capacity for another 70 million pounds per year and currently is producing about 60 million pounds per year.

Meanwhile, in the last three years production has increased about 35 percent at the Enterprise plant (known as “The Beast”), which lies east of the Willow plant, at the intersection of 54th and Willow. Generating about 140 million pounds of food per year, it’s designed for high-speed, high-volume production of fully-cooked meat products such as chicken nuggets and hamburger patties.

Both plants feed directly into the distribution center, which ships product from the Enid plants throughout the country.

Interestingly, the day before announcing the AdvancePierre acquisition, Tyson said it was exploring the sale of three non-protein businesses: the Sara Lee Frozen Bakery business, the Kettle business and Van’s Company.

One day later, Tyson President and CEO Tom Hayes said the addition of AdvancePierre aligns with the company’s strategic intent to sustainably “feed the world with the fastest growing portfolio of protein-packed brands.” Marrying the two businesses should create meaningful opportunities for growth.

George Chappelle, AdvancePierre Foods chief operating officer who once worked with Hayes at Sara Lee, said in February that the complexity of operations makes the Enid facilities integral.

In a transaction conference call, Hayes said AdvancePierre has a portfolio of products and categories that Tyson does not. Tyson brands include Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Ball Park, Wright, Aidells and State Fair.

We hope Tyson is the right home for AdvancePierre to continue to expand its distribution footprint and nurture greater brand loyalty. AdvancePierre is known for producing center-of-the-plate food items that align well with Tyson’s protein-packed strategy.

Enid Regional Development Alliance Executive Director Brent Kisling said the merger puts our community in the middle of the international supply chain. As cost synergies are defined, we believe Tyson will find Enid production operations a vital asset in the evolving food-processing industry.

Story provided by:  Enid News & Eagle

Written by:  Enid News & Eagle Editorial Board