Pilgrim's Pride Files for Bankruptcy

November 30, 2008 06:00 PM
AgWeb Editors

Pilgrim's Pride, the nation's largest chicken producer, voluntarily filed for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code Monday amid volatility in feed prices while shouldering growing debt following its purchase of Goldkist in January 2007. 

The announcement had been expected for weeks, according to market analysts, and did not come as a surprise.   

"This does not mean we are going out of business," President and Chief Executive Officer Clint Rivers wrote to investors. "In fact, I'd like to emphasize that we expect it will be "business as usual” as we work through this restructuring process."
In April, Pilgrim's Pride announced its plan to reduce weekly chicken processing by approximately 5% for the second half of 2008 amid record-high feed costs, particularly corn and soybean meal. The company blamed ethanol as the main contributor to rising feed and food prices.

Pilgrim's Pride accounts for 23.7 percent of the U.S. chicken market, which is followed by Tyson at 19.6 percent and Perdue Farms at 7.6 percent.

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