Leucadia acquiring ownership interest in National Beef

by Bryan Salvage
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Leucadia National Corporation, a diversified holding company engaged in a variety of businesses, plans to acquire approximately 79 percent outstanding ownership interests in National Beef Packing Co. LLC for a total deal reportedly worth $1.3 billion. National Beef’s operations and management structure will not change, the companies claim, and the transaction is expected to close by the end of December.

US Premium Beef is a vertically integrated beef marketing company owned by beef producers and it owns National Beef Packing Company LLC, the nation's fourth-largest beef processing company. More than 2,000 producers from 35 states have marketed cattle through its integrated quality-based cattle supply system that serves as the foundation for National Beef’s value-added product lines.

Kansas City, Mo.-based National Beef has operations in Liberal, Dodge City and Kansas City, Kan.; Brawley, Calif.; Hummels Wharf, Pa.; Moultrie, Ga.; and St. Joseph, Mo. Employing approximately 9,100 employees, National Beef processes and markets fresh beef, case-ready beef, beef by-products and wet-blue leather for domestic and international markets. National Beef generated sales of $6.8 billion in fiscal year 2011.

“This transaction will enable us to address the liquidity desires of USPB’s diverse producer ownership base while maintaining our highly successful cattle supply system and a sizable investment in beef processing,” said Steve Hunt, CEO of USPB.

“I look forward to Leucadia joining our ownership group and bringing its unique perspective to our industry,” said Tim Klein, president and CEO of National Beef, who will remain in these positions once the transaction is complete. “The addition of Leucadia will widen the scope of opportunities available to us and will further strengthen our ability to expand our business and solidify our position as the premier global beef processor.”

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