Thursday, September 21, 2023

Atlas Holdings completes its acquisition of Foster Farms

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GREENWICH, Conn. — Atlas Holdings has announced that it has acquired Foster Farms, a family-owned provider of fresh, frozen, and prepared poultry products headquartered in Livingston, Calif., from entities associated with the Foster family.

Founded in 1939 on a small farm, Foster Farms boasts a proud and distinguished history as the leading brand of fresh chicken in the West. With products available nationwide, the company employs approximately 10,000 team members and operates major processing facilities in California, Washington, Louisiana, Oregon, and Alabama.

The company, which generates revenues of approximately $3 billion annually, will continue to operate under the Foster Farms name. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Atlas also announced that longtime poultry industry leader Donnie Smith, former CEO of Tyson Foods, has been named Foster Farms’ new CEO and chairman of the board. Smith spent 36 years with Tyson in roles spanning all business functions. He was named CEO in 2009, a role he held until his retirement in 2016. Under his leadership, Tyson saw record growth, entered new markets and expanded its product offerings, the company noted.

“I love the poultry industry and am proud that Atlas has asked me to become the CEO of Foster Farms,” Smith said. “I’ve long been an admirer of the Foster Family and the business they’ve built over the past eight decades. In this new era, we will maintain and further that legacy, rooted in animal welfare, superior product quality, customer service and community engagement.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Foster Farms to the Atlas Family of great global businesses,” said Atlas Partners Sam Astor, Ed Fletcher, and Mike Sher. “We have a long history of partnering with proud family-owned companies to honor their past while driving additional operational, environmental, and financial success for the next generation. Working closely with Donnie Smith, the Leadership Team, and our dedicated team members, that is precisely what we intend to do at Foster Farms.”

Atlas brings decades of experience in the food industry through other businesses they have owned and operated, making them the ideal partner for Foster Farms, the company added.

Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor and Mayer Brown LLP was legal advisor for Foster Farms. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor and DLA Piper LLP was legal advisor for Atlas.

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