HARRISONBURG, Va. –– A letter of intent has been signed by George’s Inc. to buy Tyson Foods’ Harrisonburg, Va. poultry complex. The deal is expected to be finalized soon, pending a definitive agreement and completion of closing conditions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tyson acquired the Harrisonburg complex in 1989 when it bought Holly Farms. It produces commodity boneless and whole bird chicken, as well as chicken-leg quarters for sale to retail, foodservice and international customers.

Harrisonburg has been an important part of Tyson for many years with an established workforce of 500 employees, however, Tyson believes it makes economic sense to sell the plant and divert resources to other operations, said Donnie King, Tyson’s senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods.

“We believe Tyson’s Harrisonburg complex will be a good fit for our company, complementing our existing poultry operations in Harrisonburg and nearby Edinburg,” said Gary George, chairman and CEO of George’s. “We don’t plan to make any immediate changes and expect to retain substantially all of the people currently employed by Tyson at Harrisonburg. It’s also our intention to honor the contracts Tyson has with the 121 contract farms that raise chickens for the complex.”

Operations included in the deal are a processing plant in Harrisonburg and a hatchery in Broadway as well as a feedmill and truck shop in New Market.

Tyson’s other operations in Virginia, which include poultry production complexes at Glen Allen and Temperanceville, will not be affected by the planned sale.