According to a June 21 report from the Wall Street Journal, major poultry producer Sanderson Farms is exploring a sale of the company.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said Sanderson — the third-largest broiler chicken supplier in the United States — is being advised by Centerview Partners for a potential sale and has already attracted interest from interested buyers that include agricultural investment firm Continental Grain, which the Journal notes already owns a smaller chicken processing company Georgia's Wayne Farms.
The WSJ said Sanderson’s market value was approximately $3.5 billion as of Monday and that a suitor would likely pay a premium to that figure.
The report also noted that Sanderson may ultimately decide not to sell.
Consumer demand for poultry products has resurged amid the re-opening of the US economy as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes. Consumers had spent much of the pandemic relying on poultry products from grocery stores rather than restaurants.
This past October, Sanderson publicly refused an unprompted acquisition offer by private equity firm Durational Capital Management, which had just recently bought shares in the company. Durational offered $142 per share, which Sanderson said “very substantially undervalues Sanderson Farms and its future prospects.”
In October, Sanderson Farms rejected an unsolicited takeover offer from Durational Capital Management, which at the time was a new shareholder in the company. The company and its board decided that Durational's buyout offer "very substantially undervalues" Sanderson and its future prospects.