The UK’s largest poultry producer Moy Park, which operates sites in Grantham and Anwick near Sleaford, has been bought by a US firm in a major £1 billion deal.
Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation purchased the Craigavon headquartered company with the aim to help it become a ‘global player’ in the market.
The poultry firm, which employed 9,000 people, was put up for sale earlier the year by Brazilian owners JBS.
Originally GW Padley, the company took over the former Wolsey knitwear factory in the mid-1980s.
It was founded by Georege Padley, one of several businessmen brothers, the rest of them going into the motor trade.
It is now the Grantham’s biggest employer in the private sector.
In a statement, the new owners said : “Pilgrim’s believes in the importance of its local business model and is committed to its team members across its global operations.
“The Moy Park management team, led by Janet McCollum, will continue to lead the business, and the rest of the Moy Park employee base will remain in place.
“Moy Park will operate as a business unit within Pilgrim’s and will maintain its day-to-day operations and strategic focus.”
Pilgrim’s chief executive Bill Lovette said the acquisition will strengthen the company’s portfolio and give an improved and more stable margin profile on the chicken business.
Moy Park processes more than 5.7 million birds per week and has 13 processing plants located in the UK, Ireland, France and the Netherlands
It supplies major food retailers and restaurant chains in the UK and Continental Europe.