American Proteins Inc., one of Forsyth County’s oldest and most successful family-owned businesses, announced Tuesday it will be bought by subsidiaries of Tyson Foods Inc., for about $850 million.
The acquisition includes American Proteins’ four rendering plants in Georgia and Alabama and 13 blending facilities located throughout Southeastern and Midwestern states, according to a press release. Most of American Proteins’ 700 workers are expected to become Tyson Foods team members.
“We value and appreciate our 700-plus employees as well as the relationships we have with our suppliers and customers and are confident that after the transaction closes the Tyson team will offer them the same commitment to service and quality as provided by American Proteins,” said Mark Ham, president and CEO of American Proteins.
The acquisition is expected to enable Tyson Foods, the No. 1 meat processing company in the U.S., to recycle more animal products for feed, pet food and aquaculture, among other things, and expand its presence in the growing animal feed ingredient business.
The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.
“This acquisition is a great complement to our existing business, gives us the ability to render raw materials in a region we don’t currently serve, and better positions us to meet the competitive, fast-growing national and global demand for animal protein,” said Doug Ramsey, group president of poultry for Tyson Foods.
But the acquisition ends American Proteins’ 69-year run of ownership by the Bagwell family, first by Leland, who founded the company in 1949. It was called the North Georgia Rendering Company then, according to American Proteins’ website, and served a fast-growing poultry industry in need of recycling animal by-products.
Bagwell passed in 1972, and his son, Tommy, took over as CEO. American Proteins has since grown into the nation’s largest poultry renderer.