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Assets of bankrupt chicken processor sold

Posted February 22, 2011

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— Two chicken processing plants in Chatham County have been sold, and state Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said Tuesday that he hopes that will boost the state economy.

Townsends Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December, saying it had more than $100 million in liabilities because of a combination of high feed costs and low prices for chicken.

A bankruptcy court judge last week approved the $24.9 million sale of its North Carolina plants, its headquarters in Delaware and other assets to Omtron Ltd., an affiliate of Agroholding Avangard, Ukraine’s largest egg producer.

“While we hate to see the end of Townsends’ presence in North Carolina, we are glad to have worked with Omtron and others to ensure that an estimated 1,500 jobs stay in our state and support our rural economies," Troxler said in a statement. "By purchasing these assets and diversifying its operations to enter broiler production, Omtron also gives hope to 250 poultry farmers who were under contract with Townsends."

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