Atlas Completes Acquisition of Foster Farms

Atlas Completes Acquisition of Foster Farms

With the closing, Atlas has named Donnie Smith, the former CEO of Tyson Foods, as Foster Farms' new chief executive officer

Foster Farms specializes in all-natural chicken and turkey products that are free of preservatives, additives, and injected sodium enhancers

SOURCE: Foster Farms

Atlas Holdings has acquired Foster Farms, a provider of fresh, frozen, and prepared poultry products, from entities associated with the founding Foster family.

Foster Farms operates processing facilities in California, Washington, Louisiana, Oregon, and Alabama and has more than 10,000 employees and annual revenues of more than $3 billion. Foster Farms was founded in 1939 by Max and Verda Foster and is headquartered 70 miles northwest of Fresno in Livingston, California.Foster Farms specializes in all-natural chicken and turkey products that are free of preservatives, additives, and injected sodium enhancers. The company also sells pre-marinated, ready-to-cook and fully cooked products to retailers, warehouse clubs and foodservice customers.

With the closing of the transaction, Atlas has announced that longtime poultry industry leader Donnie Smith, the former CEO of Tyson Foods, has been named as Foster Farms’ new chief executive officer and chairman of the company’s board of directors. Mr. Smith spent 36 years with Tyson, and he was the company’s CEO from 2009 until his retirement in 2016.

“I love the poultry industry and am proud that Atlas has asked me to become the CEO of Foster Farms,” said Mr. Smith. “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 in a released statement. “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 company’s leadership team, and our dedicated team members, that is precisely what we intend to do at Foster Farms.”

Atlas has invested in the food industry previously and currently owns Minneapolis-headquartered Flagstone Foods (Wizard Nuts), one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of nuts and trail mixes in the United States. Atlas acquired Flagstone Foods from TreeHouse Foods in July 2019.

Atlas is a holding company that has more than 25 platform companies operating in a wide range of sectors with more than $14 billion in total revenues, more than 50,000 employees, and more than 300 facilities worldwide. Some of the sectors that Atlas invests in are aluminum processing, automotive, building materials, food manufacturing and distribution, packaging, paper, power generation and wood products.

In April 2021, Atlas held a first, final, and hard cap close of its fourth private equity investment fund, Atlas Capital Resources IV LP, with $3.1 billion of capital. The firm was founded in 2002 by managing partners Andrew Bursky and Tim Fazio and is headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Houlihan Lokey was the financial advisor to Foster Farms, and Morgan Stanley was the financial advisor to Atlas.

© 2022 Private Equity Professional | June 21, 2022

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