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St. Cloud-based GNP Co. formerly Gold’n Plump, getting new owner

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LUVERNE, Minn. -- St. Cloud-based GNP Co. and its subsidiaries, formerly known as Gold’n Plump, are being acquired by The Maschhoffs LLC, the largest family-owned pork production company in North America.

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The agreement was signed Thursday and announced Friday.

GNP Co. and The Maschhoffs pork production business will operate as separate business units following the closing of the transaction. The transaction is expected to have no immediate impact on the Luverne Gold’n Plump plant or any of the other entities involved in the sale.

According to a news release, GNP’s headquarters will remain in St. Cloud, and its nearly 1,700 team members and 350 family farm partners will be retained.

Based in Carlyle, Ill., The Maschhoffs is owned by fifth-generation family members Dave Maschhoff and his wife, Karen, and Ken Maschhoff and his wife, Julie.

The Maschhoffs partner with more than 450 family farmers across the Midwest to produce enough pork to feed more than 16 million consumers annually.

“No changes in business operations or company commitments are planned as a result of this acquisition,” stated Mike Helgeson, GNP chief executive officer.

The acquisition will also not change the strategies of The Maschhoffs’ pork production business unit.

“Our intent is to manage GNP Co. as a separate business unit next to our current pork production business,” said Jason Logsdon, The Maschhoffs’ chief executive officer. “GNP Co. will continue to be led by its present management team, with the support of its current team members and contract growers.”

GNP sales are expected to be about $400 million in 2013.

“For the past year, our facilities have been running at capacity with more demand on the horizon,” Helgeson said.

In fact, increasing demand was an impetus for the sale, according to information released by the company. To meet growing sales demand, GNP leadership determined it would need to invest in multiple facilities and operations at both its St. Cloud and Arcadia, Wis., locations. The capital needed for this type of expansion exceeds what the company could invest on its own.

“By joining forces, we can leverage our core strengths, capitalize on growth opportunities, and create new value in the marketplace — thus making the combined company stronger than each would be separately,” said Logsdon, adding that the transaction makes new resources available to both companies.

Helgeson said it was important to him to find a partner with like-minded values and culture as well as a strong commitment to growth.

“This is a win-win from both the business and organizational standpoints,” he explained, “one that provides the critical resources for growth and secures a strong future for all of our team members and growers.”

The exact terms of the sale were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed in 30 days.

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