Humboldt, Sask. – Olymel l.p. of Saint-Hyacinthe, Que, has acquired Big Sky Farms in a deal worth $65.25 million.
Big Sky Farms, the second largest hog producer in Canada, was placed in receivership last September when it was unable to meet its obligations after significant losses, due mainly to the soaring price of grain used for animal feed and depressed hog prices.
The acquisition makes Olymel the owner of the company’s Canadian assets, including all its facilities located in Canada, primarily in Saskatchewan, the breeding herd and boar studs, the genetic nucleus, maternities and finishing sites, as well as feed mills and transport activities.
Big Sky Farms, which was founded in 1995, employs more than 400 people. With a herd of 42,000 sows, it has annual production of one million hogs.
For many years Big Sky Farms had been a leading supplier to the Olymel hog slaughterhouse and butchering plant in Red Deer, Alta., a plant that employs more than 1,300 people and has a weekly slaughtering capacity of 90,000 hogs.
Olymel also says that in addition to supplying hogs to its Red Deer plant, Big Sky Farms will maintain its business relations with the company’s customers and suppliers.
Olymel slaughters, processes and distributes pork and poultry, with facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.
The company employs more than 10,000 people and exports nearly half of its production, mainly to the U.S., Japan and Australia, as well as some 60 other countries.
Its sales were more than $2.3 billion last year, with a slaughtering and processing capacity of 160,000 hogs and 1.7 million birds a week. The company markets its products mainly under the Olymel, Lafleur and Flamingo brands.