Perdue Farms to acquire leading natural meat brands

by Keith Nunes
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Natural Food Holdings owns the Niman Ranch, SiouxPreme Packing and Prairie Grove pork businesses.

SALISBURY, MD. — Perdue Farms has entered into an agreement with the private equity firm LNK Partners to acquire Natural Food Holdings, owner of the Niman Ranch, SiouxPreme Packing and Prairie Grove pork businesses. Terms of the transaction were not released.

“This represents the next chapter in our growth through premium proteins and trusted brands,” said Jim Perdue, chairman of Perdue Farms. “The Niman Ranch brand continues our commitment to raising animals without antibiotics or artificial growth stimulants, and to responsible food and agriculture.”

Niman Ranch is made up of a network of 700 farmers throughout the United States that raise hogs, cattle, lamb and chickens under strict protocols and in a humane and sustainable manner. The Niman Ranch brand covers a complete line of pork, beef, lamb, cage-free eggs and a variety of smoked and cured meats.

SiouxPreme Packing markets itself as a niche meat processor that specializes in servicing customers with such special requirements as segregation related to antibiotic free, natural or organic. As part of the transaction, Perdue Farms will also be acquiring two SiouxPreme packing plants in Sioux City, Iowa.

Prairie Grove is a natural brand of pork that is marketed as natural, antibiotic free, hormone free and its live hogs are never fed animal byproducts, according to the company.

Randy Day, president of Perdue Foods

“This is more than adding volume and capacity,” said Randy Day, president of Perdue Foods. “This acquisition is an important step forward in growing our pork business through premium brands with high standards for animal welfare and sustainable agricultural practices. We hope to grow the number of family farmers in the Niman Ranch network, and expand distribution into more cities across the country, thereby reaching more consumers and providing greater access to sustainably produced meat.”

The acquisition of Natural Food Holding will grow Perdue’s natural and organic meat interests. In 2011, the company acquired Coleman Natural Foods, an organic and natural meat brand, and Perdue has invested significant capital in developing its “no antibiotics ever” program.

“We want to become better, not just bigger,” Mr. Perdue said. “The acquisition of Natural Food Holdings supports our direction forward as we continually elevate our products and production practices.”

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