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Acquisition Makes Tyson Largest Poultry Processor

May 9, 1986 GMT

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) _ Tyson Foods has completed acquisition of all capital stock of Lane Processing Inc. of Grannis, Ark., making Tyson the largest poultry producer in the world, a Tyson spokesman said Friday.

In March, when plans for the $115 million acquisition were announced, Tyson general counsel Jim Blair said the purchase would make Tyson the largest chicken processor, based on the number of chickens processed and sales.

Lane’s affiliated and subsidiary corporations were included in the purchase, Tyson said.

Lane companies own and operate chicken processing plants, hatcheries, broiler houses and feed mills in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Alabama. Lane officials have said that in an average week, the company had about 4 million birds in hatcheries and processing operations.

According to company reports, Tyson processes about 9 million chickens a week.

Before the acquisition, Tyson employed about 20,300 people in several states. Tyson’s headquarters are in Springdale. Blair said the acquisition gives Tyson a total employment of about 24,000.

″This makes us decidedly the largest employer in Arkansas,″ Blair said. ″Our strength has been in marketing, but we have been short on production. We need their production, they need our marketing.″

The acquisition included current and deferred cash payments and the assumption of some Lane debts, Tyson said.

A Lane spokesman referred all questions to Blair.

Blair said in March that Tyson’s processing capacity was about 1 million chickens below demand. ″We need the production, and the marketing expertise that we can have fits very well with their production. The two companies fit very, very well,″ he said.

According to the company’s annual report, Tyson’s sales in 1985 totaled $1.136 billion.