Carolina Turkey gobbles up Butterball for $325M

Carolina Turkey gobbles up Butterball for $325M

Carolina Turkey gobbles up Butterball for $325M


International turkey processor Carolina Turkey has finalized a $325 million acquisition of Butterball turkey from ConAgra Foods.


The transaction makes Carolina Turkey the largest turkey producer in the United States.


The expanded company expects production to reach 1.4 billion pounds of turkey in 2006, or 20 percent of total turkey production in the United States.


Located southeast of Raleigh in Mt. Olive on the Wayne and Duplin county line, Carolina Turkey is a joint venture of Maxwell Farms Inc., an affiliate of the Goldsboro Milling Co., and Virginia-based Smithfield Foods. Smithfield Foods  employs more than 5,000 workers at its Tar Heel slaughterhouse in southeastern North Carolina.


Carolina Turkey will gain more than 3,200 employees and five processing plants in Arkansas, Missouri and Colorado. Butterball President and Chief Executive Keith Shoemaker said the company does not expect any layoffs as a result of the merger.


ConAgra Foods Inc. currently employs more than 650 workers at a facility in Garner.

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