Austin-based Hormel Foods is selling its Nebraska pork processing plant in a deal that will leave it with a guaranteed supply of meat for Spam and other products.
The buyer is WholeStone Farms, which is owned by 220 Midwest farmers who raise 12 million pigs a year. The sale price was not disclosed. Hormel said it would discuss the deal when the company reports earnings later this month.
Michael Boland, a professor of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota, says the sale positions Hormel to redirect its investment in the plant to more profitable uses, including possible acquisitions of other food companies and brands.
"Companies do this all the time," he said. "They look at their business portfolio from time to time."
WholeStone Farms agreed to supply pork to Hormel Foods for several years.