Following an early morning announcement that minority joint venture partnerSmithfield Foods Inc. would like to purchaseButterball LLC, the turkey company's majority owner, Maxwell Farms, LLC, issued its own statement.

“Our desire is to be the buyer of Butterball, which is the strongest brand in the turkey industry,” said Walter Pelletier, president of Maxwell Farms, Goldsboro, N.C.  “We believe in the long-term business outlook of Butterball, and we are currently pursuing several opportunities that will allow us to proceed with our desire to be the buyer of Butterball.”
 
According to the agreement, Maxwell Farms now has the option to buy Smithfield's membership interest in Butterball or sell its membership interest, based on the price put forth by Smithfield. The decision under the buy/sell action is expected to be finalized no later than September 2010 and closed by the end of the year. The two companies are current owners of Butterball, the industry-leading turkey producer.
 
As for now, it is business as usual and the company does not anticipate any disruptions of day-to-day operations, said Pelletier.

Maxwell Farms, LLC is an affiliated company of Goldsboro Milling Company.