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Cargill adds another beef-processing plant

U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. said July 12 it bought a former AFA Foods Inc. ground beef-processing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, for $14.1 million, in a move that will add to its already strong position in the U.S. and Canadian consumer market.

Based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, AFA filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court at Wilmington, Del., on April 2. Of those assets, Cargill bid only for AFA’s Fort Worth plant.

Cargill plans to keep the approximately 250 full-time ground beef-production jobs at the facility and make further investments to boost the plant’s competitiveness.

The Fort Worth plant will produce ground beef patties and a variety of ground beef packaged products.

Cargill’s meat division employs more than 34,000 people, and has more than 30 facilities, in its North American businesses. The position of Texas as a top producer of beef cattle added attraction of the deal, the company said.

In the past 15 months Cargill has announced approximately $100 million of investments in Texas supporting the company’s meat businesses, including acquisition of a hog-production facility near Dalhart, construction of a livestock feed-production facility at Bovina and the Fort Worth beef-processing facility. For fiscal 2012 and 2013, Cargill has also earmarked $20 million in investments for its Plainview and Friona, Texas, beef-processing facilities, the company said.

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