Good news? Potential Swifter buyer emerges

MISSOURI - Another player has entered the picture as a possible buyer of Swift & Co.
calendar icon 30 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

National Beef Co. of Kansas City, Mo., might be the "dark horse" candidate to buy the Greeley-based U.S. beef and pork business, said Steve Kay, publisher of Cattle Buyers Weekly, an industry publication.

But that could mean bad news for Greeley, Kay said, as National Beef probably wouldn't operate the Greeley beef plant nor would it have interest in Swift's world headquarters at Promontory in west Greeley.

"I would absolutely be disturbed and disappointed," said Greeley Mayor Tom Selders, of a potential sale to National. "It's not just the packing plant we're talking about, but it's all the cattle, all the trucks that bring the cattle here and all the farmers who grow corn for the cattle. It's a huge web."

Last week, Swift said it engaged JPMorgan to assist it in a review of strategic and financial alternatives. The review was initiated as a result of a series of unsolicited inquiries over the past six months from a variety of strategic and financial third parties, the company said.

In the review, Swift, the second largest beef and pork processor in the world, said it will consider the full range of possible alternatives, including a possible sale or merger, strategic partnerships, refinancing and/or a public equity offering.

Those branded products are what makes the company perhaps the most successful beef company in operation, said Bill Haw, president of National Farms and Haw Livestock in Kansas City.

Haw is the former president of National Hog Farms, which operated a birth-to-finish hog operation east of Kersey that was closed in 2000. Haw now operates feedlots and ranches in Kansas, and he said the majority of cattle marketings are with Tyson Foods, not National Beef.

Source: The Tribune

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