Perdue Restructures to Grow

US - A recent acquisition has brought to light a change in the structure of Perdue.
calendar icon 24 June 2011
clock icon 4 minute read

Perdue Inc. was once the umbrella name for the Perdue family of companies, reports Delmarva Now.

But last year, a holding company, FPP Family Investments, headquartered in Salisbury and owned by the Perdue family, became the controlling entity for three separate companies: Perdue Farms, producing food products; Perdue AgriBusiness, a grain operation that extends to bioenergy and animal feed; and FPP Business Services, a shared services company that provides accounting, information technology and other business services to the other companies.

Now, FPP has added a fourth company: the newly acquired Coleman Natural Foods, which it purchased last month after an anti-trust investigation by the Department of Justice to ensure that it would not stunt competition among poultry producers.

FPP spokesman, Joe Forsthoffer, said that the corporate structure established a year ago was necessary to allow for diversity in the company's expanding reach.

He said: "It gives the Perdue family a framework to pursue strategic growth," adding that it allows the creation – or, as in the case of Coleman, acquisition – of different brands, products and services.

Mr Forsthoffer says the four companies currently held by FPP will operate independently, each with its own leadership.

He explained: "Perdue Farms, Perdue Agribusiness and FPP Business Services are part of the Perdue family of companies, in that they share a common brand, a shared history and heritage."

Coleman has its own brand; however, he noted, "its values are complementary to our own so it's a good fit".

Coleman serves a different niche from Perdue Foods, and is not a competitor, Mr Forsthoffer said. While it is more likely to find Coleman products in a Whole Foods than a Walmart, Giant and Harris Teeter do carry some of its organic and all-natural products. Like Perdue Farms, Coleman has its own diverse business. It sells specialty, fresh chicken and meat – such as free-range chicken and halal goat – as well as convenience, fully cooked foods that serve a niche, such as gourmet meatballs and sausage.

Meanwhile, Perdue AgriBusiness is shipping tons of grain throughout the world. The company started out primarily producing grain for Perdue poultry but it has become the top exporter of wheat to Egypt and incorporates such divisions as Perdue Grain & Oilseed, which buys and processes grain and vegetable oils; and Perdue AgriRecycle, which creates organic fertiliser.

Perdue AgriBusiness has been growing rapidly.

"We have a deepwater port in Chesapeake, Virginia," Mr Forsthoffer told Delmarva Now. The port ships out huge freighters of grain around the world as often as twice a week.

The acquisition of Coleman has added a new dimension to Perdue family-owned FPP Family Investments, but it may just be the beginning for the Salisbury company. As to further expansion, Mr Forsthoffer said, "The company is committed to growth,"

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