Wayne Farms in Marshall County employs more than 9,000 people, among them are citizens from nearby towns in DeKalb County. They are impacted by changes taking place at the poultry company.

Upon completion of a joint venture transaction valued at $4.53 billion, Cargill and Continental Grain will combine Sanderson Farms with Wayne Farms, which is a subsidiary of Continental Grain, to form a new, privately held poultry business.

The combination is expected to create a best-in-class U.S. poultry company with a high-quality asset base, complementary operating cultures and an industry-leading management team and workforce. A press release states that the new company “will be well positioned to enhance its service to customers across retail and food service and drive drive organic growth in an industry fueled by affordability and key consumer trends around the health, sustainability, and versatility of chicken.”

Wayne Farms CEO Clint Rivers will lead the combined business, according to the release.

Wayne Farms’ deep customer relationships across the food service sector complement Sanderson Farms’ diverse grocery and retail relationships. The new company will have state-of-the-art operations and will continue to invest in its workforce and in employee safety. Operations will include poultry processing plants and prepared foods plants across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021 or early 2022, and will be subject to regulatory and Sanderson Farms stockholder approval, and other customary closing conditions. Sanderson Farms will become a private company, and its shares will no longer be traded on NASDAQ.

Producing products under the brand names of Wayne Farms® fresh and prepared chicken; Platinum Harvest® premium fresh chicken; Chef’s Cratft® gourmet chicken; Naked Truth® premium chicken; and Ladybird™ premium chicken, Wayne Farms has a well-known history of operating industry-leading poultry processing facilities and delivering products to some of the largest industrial, institutional, and foodservice companies across the globe.

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