Amarillo company buys Cargill’s Texas Panhandle feedyards

Friday, July 8, 2016 8:31 PM

Amarillo company buys Cargill’s Texas Panhandle feedyards

Globe-News staff

Cattle feed in a Randall County feedyard. Friona Industries has purchased the Texas Panhandle feedyard assets of Cargill, one of the top U.S. meat processors.

Amarillo-based Friona Industries will acquire all of the cattle feeding assets held by Cargill in the Texas Panhandle, according to an announcement on Friday.

The move includes two large commercial feedyards in Dalhart and Bovina with a one-time capacity of 140,000 cattle. The sale also will increase Friona’s feeding operation by 50 percent.

Terms of the acquisition were not released pending finalization and regulatory reviews.

Friona Industries, with a corporate office in Suite 601 of Amarillo National Bank Plaza Two at 500 S. Taylor St., owns feedyards in Amarillo, Friona, Amherst and Happy. It is one of the leading commercial cattle feeding companies in the world.

“The acquisition is one more step in our journey to create the nation’s first commercially viable, vertically aligned, process-verified cattle production operation directed into a series of branded beef products,” Friona Industries CEO Brad Stout said in a news release.

“We intend to continue to increase our delivery of the most consistent, safe and tender beef products to Cargill’s domestic and global customers,” he said.

Approximately 90 employees who currently work at the feedyards in Dalhart and Bovina will be offered positions with Friona Industries, both companies said.

“Selling our feedyards in the Texas Panhandle allows us to redeploy many tens of millions of dollars annually into investments that will help us grow our protein business — money that otherwise would have been tied up as working capital used to purchase and feed cattle,” John Keating, president of Cargill’s Wichita-based beef business, said in a news release.

“This decision makes sense, particularly because we have a terrific and longstanding business relationship with Friona Industries, which already supplies Cargill with excellent cattle from their four feedyards,” Keeting said.

“The Texas feedyards we are selling will continue to supply cattle to our beef processing plants while also enhancing Friona Industries’ feedyard portfolio.”

According to a news release, Friona currently provides 700,000 cattle per year to Cargill’s packing facility in Friona.

Friona Industries began as a small cattle feedyard in Amarillo in 1962.

Cargill, a 151-year-old business and one of the top U.S. meat processors, announced the sale. It’s the company’s latest of a series of moves in the past year to grow its protein business and scale back others to increase profit margins.