Foster Farms, a West Coast icon of the chicken and turkey industry, is being sold to a company in Connecticut.
The Livingston, Calif.-based processor has been purchased by Atlas Holdings for an undisclosed price. The company will retain the Foster Farms brand and hire Donnie Smith, former chief executive officer at Tyson Foods, as its CEO.
"I love the poultry industry and am proud that Atlas has asked me to become the CEO of Foster Farms," Smith said in a release. "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."
The 83-year-old Foster Farms employs about 12,000 people at a turkey processing plant in Turlock, Calif., and chicken plants in Livingston, Fresno and Porterville in the San Joaquin Valley as well as Oregon, Washington and Alabama, the Modesto Bee notes. A public relations official declined to tell the Bee how the new ownership would affect other managers, plant employees and product lines.
Dan Huber had been Foster Farms' CEO since 2019 and was only the second non-family member in that role, the newspaper notes.
Started in 1939 as a small farm, Foster Farms now generates revenues of about $3 billion annually.
Headquartered in Greenwich, Conn., and founded in 2002, Atlas and its affiliates own 25 companies, which employ about 50,000 workers across more than 300 facilities worldwide. Its sectors include aluminum processing, automotive, building materials, capital equipment, construction services, food manufacturing and distribution, packaging, paper, power generation, printing, pulp, supply chain management and wood products.
Atlas’ companies together generate approximately $14.5 billion in revenues annually.