House of Raeford Farms, Rose Hill, N.C., reached an agreement to purchase the business, operating assets and trademark of Filet of Chicken Acquisition, LLC, Forest Park, Ga., from Flagship Food Group, LLC, Los Angeles, and entered into a long-term supply and joint marketing agreement. The closing is projected to take place no later than June 27.

This action supports the company’s strategy announced last year to expand its cooked chicken product lines in conjunction with an increase in chicken production volumes, according to Bob Johnson, president and CEO of House of Raeford.

“This will add a complete line of par-fried products to House of Raeford’s existing fully-cooked breaded, formed, whole muscle, roasted and deli chicken and turkey products produced in our three other cook plants,” adds Johnson.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company will continue to operate as Filet of Chicken (FOC), and House of Raeford will honor all existing FOC supplier and customer agreements and contracts. As an independent operating unit, the current FOC management group will administer all purchasing and sales agreements.

“We feel very comfortable that the FOC team will blend very well into House of Raeford’s cooked products group,” Johnson says.

“We sincerely believe that this transaction is a win for all parties, from House of Raeford which will acquire one of the leading facilities and teams in the further processing space to the customers and suppliers of FOC who will now be partnered with a leading poultry company that we highly respect,” says Rob Holland, chief executive officer of the Flagship Food Group. “The transaction also is the beginning of a long-term relationship between Flagship and House of Raeford, which allows us as partners to develop innovative new products for our customers.”

Filet of Chicken employs approximately 500 associates at their metro-Atlanta plant and currently produces battered and breaded chicken nuggets and tenders, marinated and roasted wings and individually-quick frozen filets and tenders. The company serves many of North America's most popular chain restaurants, grocery stores and other foodservice distribution channels. Operating an SQF Level III plant, FOC is also one of only a few further processors in the continental United States certified to further process individually frozen organic poultry. FOC also processes antibiotic-free poultry products.

This move comes on the heels of House of Raeford’s previous announcement Re: the opening of its further processing cook plant in Mocksville, N.C.