Cargill, Inc., Minneapolis, acquired FPL Food’s ground beef processing plant in Columbia, S.C.  Purchase of the 100,000-square-foot plant, which employs more than 200 people, complements Cargill’s meat processing facilities in Georgia and Pennsylvania. The acquisition enhances the company’s ability to serve Eastern retail and foodservice customers. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed, and the transaction is expected to close around the end of March. 

“Cargill ground beef customers served by this plant will benefit from closer proximity to supplies and improved transit time for their orders,” says John Keating, president of Wichita, Kan.-based Cargill Beef. “We are acquiring an excellent facility, with outstanding people and capabilities.  This acquisition underscores our ongoing commitment to grow our protein business and will enable us to better serve retail and foodservice customers in a region where people love ground beef.”

“As the founder of FPL Food, I am delighted our ground beef plant will be in the hands of a company that truly values the products and people who produce them, as well as the customer relationships that nurture a continuous drive for excellence to generate profitable business growth,” says Francois Paul Léger, founder of FPL Foods, Augusta, Ga. “We’re looking forward to the opportunity to remain a key supplier of quality beef to the plant and know that the fine people working there will become part of Cargill’s terrific beef team. This sale allows FPL Food to focus on its core business of raising and harvesting cattle. It is a win-win scenario for ground beef customers, plant employees, the community, FPL Food and Cargill.”