Tyson Foods closes Lakeside sale with XL Foods

by Bryan Salvage
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BROOKS, ALBERTA, CANADA — Tyson Foods Inc. completed the sale of its Lakeside operations in Canada to XL Foods Inc. The transfer of ownership took effect on March 14.

The US$80.1 million sale of Lakeside includes US$43.8 million in cash, which was paid March 13. The remaining US$39.4 million, plus interest, will be paid over a five-year period following today’s closing. XL also purchased cattle, feed, fertilizer and packaging inventories as part of the transaction.

Based in Brooks, Alberta, Lakeside is a diversified agribusiness involved in cattle feeding, slaughtering and processing, as well as retail fertilizer production and farming and has been part of Tyson Foods since 2001, when Tyson bought IBP inc. Lakeside currently employs 2,300 people. The beef operation has the capacity to slaughter and process 4,700 cattle per day. The commodity-boxed beef produced by the plant is primarily sold to customers in Canada and the U.S.

Tyson announced plans to sell the business to XL Foods in June 2008.

XL Foods Inc. is the largest Canadian owned-and-operated beef processor in Canada. It is part of the Nilsson Bros. Group of companies, which is a diverse agribusiness that is involved in all facets of beef and cattle production, marketing and processing. XL Foods Inc. operates facilities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nebraska and Idaho.

Although Tyson will no longer own a beef plant in Canada, the company said it plans to continue buying Canadian cattle to supply some of its U.S. beef operations.

"We extend our appreciation to the employees of Lakeside for their hard work over the years and for their patience as we sorted through the details of the ownership change," said Leland Tollett, interim president and chief executive officer of Tyson Foods. "We’re also grateful to the community of Brooks and the province of Alberta for their support of Lakeside and the Canadian beef industry."

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