Glen Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA, has agreed to purchase the former PM Beef plant in Windom, Minn. The plant closed last December, leaving more than 260 employees out of work.

Taylor and partner Greg Strobel plan to spend $20 to $25 million to convert the plant to a state-of-the-art pork processing facility, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Strobel is a pork producer in Pemberton, Minn. He has previously said that the new business, to be named Prime Pork, will start after the plant is refurbished, which should take nine months.

“We are absolutely hopeful that we can go back and hire a number of the former [PM Beef] employees, because even though they did a different product, they know what it’s like to work in that kind of facility,” said Taylor, whose diverse business interests include egg farms, printing companies and the Star Tribune.

“Our goal is to focus on taste and quality, so that we bring a premium product to market and not just an ordinary hog,” Strobel said. “We don’t have volume for the Wal-Marts of the world, and quite frankly we don’t want to compete against [large pork processors] JBS and Tyson.”

The Prime Pork plant would harvest more than 4,000 hogs daily — or about 1.5 million hogs annually — at full production, Strobel said. The company plans to hire 300 to 350 workers initially.

Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune