HyLife buys pork packing, hog production capacity

Firm buys stake in U.S. packer, Manitoba hog farming business

Canadian hog production and pork processing firm HyLife has moved to expand its reach in North American pork packing as well as Manitoba hog farming.

La Broquerie, Man.-based HyLife announced last week it has bought a 75 per cent stake in Taylor Corp.’s Prime Pork, a packing and processing operation at Windom, Minnesota, about 200 km southwest of Minneapolis.

Taylor Corp. set up Prime Pork in 2016 at Windom’s former PM Beef packing plant, which had closed the previous year. The renovated plant now employs about 660 people and has capacity to process about 1.2 million hogs per year on a single shift, HyLife said.

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The deal “will allow us to expand our operations into the United States” and will increase HyLife’s total processing capacity to 3.2 million hogs per year, HyLife CEO Grant Lazaruk said in a release May 22. The deal’s dollar figures weren’t released.

“Plants in both Canada and the U.S. will strengthen our supply chain, giving us further diversity in our operations to better serve our customers around the world,” Lazaruk said.

Specifically, combining the two operations for product flow from both the U.S. and Canada will allow for “additional marketing opportunity to customers who only carry pork products from either the U.S. or Canada,” Prime Pork said in a separate release.

Taylor’s Prime Pork and Comfrey Farm businesses also include hog farming operations, in which the company owns the pig inventory and contracts with third parties for barn facilities, feed and management.

Those contract operators today raise about 300,000 feeder hogs per year to market weight and Prime Pork sources other hogs from third party suppliers.

Privately held Taylor Corp. owns various agribusinesses as well as Minneapolis’ StarTribune newspaper and Minnesota’s NBA and WNBA basketball teams. “With this new partner and leadership, I am confident this agreement will be great for the community, employees and area producers,” Glen Taylor said in Prime Pork’s release.

“Prime Pork’s location in southern Minnesota provides an abundance of resources, securing hog supply and the other raw materials required to operate a processing facility efficiently.”

Manitoba hogs

HyLife also announced May 5 it had bought the hog farming operations of ProVista from its Manitoba owners, Harold and Arthur Rempel, for an undisclosed sum.

Steinbach, Man.-based ProVista is today billed as “one of Canada’s largest independent hog farming operations,” with hog production sites in Manitoba’s southeast and Red River Valley regions and in the RM of WestLake northwest of Portage la Prairie, as well as in southeastern Saskatchewan.

The assets going to HyLife in that deal include a boar stud operation and 37,000 sows in 12 sow barns, along with six nursery and six finishing barns producing up to a million hogs per year, employing 252 people.

The ProVista farms are “in close proximity to HyLife’s current operations,” HyLife said, allowing for “strategic synergies, as the newly acquired farms will be added to HyLife’s existing infrastructure.”

“We have a long working relationship with ProVista and look forward to building on all the hard work that they have done,” HyLife’s Lazaruk said May 5. “This acquisition enables HyLife to expand our production team and secure hog supply to facilitate future growth.”

“We are confident this sale represents an opportunity for our employees to grow with a global leader in the pork industry, and it fulfills our farming business aspirations,” the Rempels said in the same release.

The Rempels’ other businesses include Proline Pork Marketing, Horizon Livestock and Poultry Supply, ProVista Feeds, PVS Transport and Quarry Oaks Golf Course.

HyLife has been in aggressive expansion mode in recent years, expanding its hog processing plants at Neepawa, Man. and at Salvatierra in central Mexico, building and buying additional finishing barns and putting up a new feed mill at Killarney, Man. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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Dave Bedard

Editor, Daily News, Glacier FarmMedia Network. A Saskatchewan transplant in Winnipeg.

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