George’s Inc. has deal in place to buy Ozark Mountain Poultry

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 7,507 views 

Springdale-based George’s Inc., a fourth generation family owned and operated poultry and prepared foods company, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ozark Mountain Poultry Inc. (OMP) of Rogers.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed in a news release issued Wednesday (Sept. 5) by OMP. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

OMP was founded in 2001 and has facilities in Rogers and Batesville in northeast Arkansas. The company employs more than 1,800 people and processes more than 1.2 million chickens per week. OMP produces antibiotic free and non-GMO chicken products, servicing the retail and foodservice channels with its Forester Farmers Market brand.

“I have known Gary George and the George family for 35 years,” OMP Founder and CEO Ed Fryar said in a statement.  “He is a person for whom I have tremendous admiration and respect. I think the acquisition of OMP will equally benefit George’s and the team members of OMP because our cultures fit. Additionally, it will enhance our position in the marketplace.”

In an additional statement provided by OMP to Talk Business & Politics, a company spokeswoman said Fryar’s plans following the acquisition are undetermined.

“Right now Mr. Fryar is Chairman of the Board at Ozark Mountain Poultry,” the statement said. “At this time, we are not able to comment on his future plans as details are still being worked out on the transition.”

Charles George, co-chief executive of George’s, said: “This acquisition further diversifies our portfolio, allowing us to grow in the retail segment with a trusted brand.”

“The ability to provide today’s consumer with affordable antibiotic free and non-GMO poultry products is very important to our overall strategy,” Carl George, co-chief executive of George’s added.

George’s was founded in the 1920s by C.L. George. The company has more than 5,300 employees, with vertically integrated operations in Arkansas, Missouri, and Virginia, and prepared foods operations in Arkansas and Tennessee. The George brothers, who are fraternal twins, were promoted from senior vice presidents to co-CEOs in April 2013.

George’s is the 11th largest poultry producer in the United States.  The company produced 22 million pounds of ready-to-cook chicken on a weekly basis in 2018.