Massive chicken recall puts $2B AdvancePierre sale on hold

Massive chicken recall puts $2B company sale on hold

By Josh Kosman

July 22, 2015 | 9:28pm

Photo: Shutterstock

Billion-dollar plus Wall Street deals have been scuttled for many reasons — no interested buyers, a stock market tumble or the seller is asking too much for the asset.

But because of a salmonella threat?

Well, you can add that reason to the list as the potential $2 billion sale of AdvancePierre has been postponed following the July 12 Department of Agriculture recall of 1.7 million pounds of raw stuffed-chicken products from its Barber division.

Several people fell ill from Barber products because of salmonella contamination.

Private-equity owner Oaktree Capital Group was ready to take final bids for the business 24 hours later.

Bidders were caught by surprise, according to sources. The recall came just weeks after the government said AdvancePierre would recall 58,000 pounds of chicken after four people were sickened.

AdvancePierre buys chickens from suppliers like Tyson and turns them into stuffed breasts, chicken fingers and other products for food services, schools and convenience stores.

Oaktree, which hired Morgan Stanley and Rothschild to handle the auction, has delayed the auction.

“No sale is going to happen this month,” a source said, “perhaps not this summer.”

Post Foods, Thailand’s CP Foods, and Goldman Sachs- and THL Partners-owned CTI Foods were among the suitors.

Oaktree declined comment.