Fate of Hillshire's 15 US plants unknown

by Joel Crews
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After agreeing to accept a $63-per-share, all-cash acquisition deal valued at $8.55 billion from Tyson Foods, Hillshire Brands officials are mum on the future status of its 15 processing facilities, four of which do not involve meat processing. Spokesmen for both companies declined to comment on plans for the plants, located across 11 states. According to a Hillshire official, a total of approximately 7,850 employees work at the US processing facilities.

Hillshire's meat-related operations are located in Kansas City, Mo. (sliced lunchmeat processing); St. Joseph, Mo. (sliced lunchmeat, hot dogs and links); Zeeland, Mich. (deli and breakfast bowls); Storm Lake, Iowa (Turkey production and processing); San Lorenzo, Calif. (Aidells Sausage and specialty meats); Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. (Golden Island Jerky); New London, Wisc. (sliced lunchmeat, smoked sausage and hot dogs); Newbern, Tenn. (sausage); Haltom City, Texas (corn dogs); Florence, Ala. (sausage); and Claryville, Ky. (sliced lunchmeat, cocktail wienies and hot dogs).

Also unknown is the fate of Hillshire's plant in Rome, Ga., where Nature Valley Granola is manufactured; the recently acquired Van's Natural Foods plant in Vernon, Calif.; the Chef Pierre pie-manufacturing plant in Traverse City, Mich.; as well as the Sara Lee plant in Tarboro, NC, which produces frozen cakes, croissants, muffins and cobblers.

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