Utah’s largest turkey producing, processing and marketing cooperative has changed its corporate structure to a limited liability company, added two significant equity partners, and changed its name to Norbest LLC.

In the deal, J.D. Heiskell & Co. and AMERRA Capital Management LLC, will each acquire minority interests in the newly formed Norbest LLC, which will own substantially all of the assets of Moroni Feed Company and Norbest Inc. The remaining equity in the new company will continue to be owned by the 37 turkey growers who previously owned Moroni Feed Company. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

“This is the most significant change in the history of Moroni Feed and its member turkey growers, which collectively have been a core employer in central Utah for nearly 100 years,” said Moroni Feed/Norbest President and CEO Matt Cook, who will retain those positions in the new Norbest LLC. “Though no longer the nation’s longest-running turkey cooperative, this investment allows us to create a new, forward-looking company that is able to seek out growth opportunities while benefiting Utah’s turkey growers and the state’s economy.”

The turkey growers who are members of Moroni Feed will continue to be part owners of the new firm and will now grow turkeys for the new company under production contracts instead of cooperative agreements. This means growers will have limited financial exposure due to fluctuating prices and will be compensated based on performance measures in their contracts. Production contracts will help stabilize the growers’ income and enable them to invest capital to improve efficiency and increase volume.

“We need more turkeys to be able to grow our business and our previous business model made that difficult,” Cook noted. “Adding production volume will allow us to make more efficient use of our underutilized processing facilities; this was a key driver in the decision to seek out investors,” Cook noted.

Source: Norbest LLC