Buyer makes offer for Pilgrim's Pride plant

Posted April 29, 2008 3:26 p.m. EDT
Updated April 29, 2008 6:40 p.m. EDT

— Siler City Town Manager Joel Brower annouced some new hope for employees of Pilgrim's Pride Tuesday.

The nation's largest chicken-processing company had planned to close its plant in Siler City and lay off up to 1,100 employees. Those jobs may be preserved under a deal formalized Monday.

IIG Management of Atlanta has made an offer to buy the Siler City plant along with an associated hatchery and feed mill in Staley, N.C.

Details of the deal were not finalized, but IIG is "wanting to hire the management staff that is currently working at the plant and the employees," Brower said.

Pilgrim's Pride Corp. planned to close the Chatham County facility as a result of soaring feed-ingredient costs resulting from corn-based ethanol production. The company was also closing facilities in Iowa, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Ohio.

The plant is the second-largest employer in Chatham County and contributes a significant portion of the local tax base.