Cargill announced that it has acquired a beef processing plant in Ft. Worth, Texas, formerly owned by AFA Foods. The sale for $14.1 million is expected to close next week, reports Reuters. Cargill plans to keep the approximately 250 full-time ground beef production jobs at the facility and make further investments to boost the plant's competitiveness.

The Fort Worth plant will produce ground beef patties and a variety of ground beef packaged products for both the retail and food service sectors, the company said.

“We’re thrilled to be the winning bidder for the Fort Worth facility due to its track record of producing quality products and satisfying customers, its geographic advantage to our retail and foodservice customers, its proximity to raw materials and its access to growing regions,” said Mary Thompson, president of the Cargill Value Added Meats Food Service business headquartered in Wichita, Kan. “This is a strategic acquisition that complements our existing beef production and distribution infrastructure and better positions us to meet our goals for both short-term and long-term profitable growth.”

AFA Foods, headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa., filed for bankruptcy this April. The company stated that the fallout from the “pink slime” controversy damaged the company's ground-beef business. Of the company's assets, Cargill bid only for AFA's Ft. Worth plant.

“I congratulate and applaud Cargill for expanding its Texas presence with the acquisition of the Fort Worth ground beef processing plant,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said. Texas is known worldwide as a great place to do business and for being a powerhouse of productivity as a leading agricultural state. Cargill’s announcement means jobs for Texans and continued momentum for the Lone Star State.”

“We eagerly look forward to welcoming the Fort Worth employees into the Cargill family which currently includes more than 34,000 people, and more than 30 facilities, in its North American animal protein businesses,” stated Thompson. “We take a great deal of pride in knowing that our meat businesses provide safe, nutritious, abundant and affordable food to our customers and consumers, and that we now have a Fort Worth facility that will help to ensure we can deliver on our promises. It will be full-speed ahead in Fort Worth as soon as the transaction closes, and we could not be more pleased.”

Source: Reuters, Cargill