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Investment Group Buys Foster Farms; Former Tyson CEO Named Top Exec

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Connecticut-based investment group Atlas Holdings LLC has acquired Foster Farms of Livingston, California and announced a former Tyson Foods CEO as the poultry company’s new leader. 

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Donnie Smith was named CEO and board chairman of the privately held company, which has a national footprint that includes facilities in Arkansas. Smith led Tyson from 2009 until 2016, part of a 36-year career at the Springdale meat giant. He stepped down amid allegations of price-fixing, but said his departure was not related to antitrust litigation the company faced.

“I love the poultry industry and am proud that Atlas has asked me to become the CEO of Foster Farms,” Smith said in a news 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.”

Tyson in 2019 reportedly held talks to purchase Foster for $2 billion, but no deal was reached.

Foster Farms, founded in 1939, generates about $3 billion in annual revenue. The company employs about 10,000 people.

Atlas Holdings owns and operates about 25 companies around the world. Combined revenue is about $14.5 billion each year.

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