The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the acquisition by JBS USA of a Greeley, Colo. Lamb processing plant. The plant, formerly owned by Mountain States Rosen, had been acquired by JBS at a bankruptcy auction earlier this year. The company had announced plans to close the facility and reopen it in the future as a beef further-processing facility.

According to the Deseret News, a group of lamb producers had petitioned the Trump administration to intervene in the acquisition. The plant processes over 300,000 lambs from 15 states. Other nearby facilities are already at capacity. It employs approximately 222 people, who would be laid off when the plant closes.

JBS spokesman Cameron Bruett said that the company had offered to lease the facility back to Mountain States Rosen for 90 days, but the company declined the option. He added that the facility will continue its current operations for the time being. 

“Given recent interest in the transaction, we agreed to not make any material changes to the facility for 30 days as a sign of good faith. During that time, the Department of Justice will have the opportunity to review any concerns raised. We welcome their review,” he said.

For more information: Deseret News