Pilgrim's Pride exits bankruptcy protection

by Keith Nunes
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PITTSBURG, TEXAS — Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and six of its subsidiaries have emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a 13-month restructuring, according to the company.

Under the terms of the restructuring plan, all of the shares of the company's common stock outstanding immediately prior to the effective date of the plan were cancelled and converted on a one-for-one basis into the right to receive new shares of the reorganized company. The reorganized company issued 64% of its common stock to JBS USA Holdings, Inc., Greeley, Colo., in exchange for $800 million in cash. The remaining 36% of the common stock of the reorganized company was issued to stockholders existing immediately prior to the effective date.

Proceeds from the sale of the common stock of reorganized Pilgrim’s Pride to JBS are being used to fund cash distributions to unsecured creditors. The reorganized company's common stock will begin trading Dec. 29 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PPC.”

“Pilgrim's Pride today begins a new chapter as a market-driven company clearly focused on delivering the highest levels of service, selection and value to our customers as efficiently as possible,” said Don Jackson, president and chief executive officer. “Over the past 13 months, we have made significant improvements across our organization aimed at positioning Pilgrim’s Pride to respond quickly to the needs of the market. Those changes have touched every aspect of our business, from supply chain and operations to sales and marketing.”

In September JBS S.A., the Brazil-based parent company of JBS USA Holdings, announced it would acquire 64% of the reorganized Pilgrim’s Pride’s common stock when it emerged from Chapter 11 protection. In late October the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice gave Pilgrim’s Pride antitrust clearance for the proposed stock purchase agreement.

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