Boston-based investment firm acquires majority ownership in Carolina Pride

by Joel Crews
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BOSTON – Officials with Gordon Brothers announced on Feb. 9 its acquisition of Greenwood, South Carolina-based Carolina Pride, a processor of hot dogs, sausage, hams, lunch meats and cocktail smokies that was founded by the Barnette family in 1920.

According to a press release from Gordon Brothers, the company will continue its operations in Greenwood and the change in corporate structure includes the Barnette family retaining an equity interest in the firm. Daily operations will not be disrupted at the company, which employs approximately 500 workers. Likewise, Michael Cox, who was appointed president of Carolina pride this past year, will maintain his leadership position along with his management team.

“We are excited about working with an established brand like Carolina Pride,” said Jim Lightburn, senior managing director of commercial and industrial at Gordon Brothers. “The company certainly has deep roots in both the industry and the community, as evidenced by its 97-year track record of success.”

This past May, the processor, formerly known as Greenwood Packing, announced it would no longer process some fresh pork products, including pork tenderloins and loin cuts. At the time, the company said in a statement that the decision would allow it to “better grow its business for the future.”

“Much has changed since our founding in 1920, but we have never wavered in our commitment to Dr. W.A. Barnette’s vision of producing the highest quality meat products,” Cox said in the announcement of the deal.

“We look forward to continuing on in the tradition of the Barnette family,” he said.

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