OAKWOOD – Cooper Farms announced Friday that it has completed its acquisition of Fort Recovery Equity, a chicken egg-layer and pullet cooperative based in Fort Recovery.
The purchase allows Cooper Farms to grow their egg division and branch into value-added egg products.
“Our Cooper family stockholders are very excited about creating a much more viable egg division for our company,” said Gary Cooper, Cooper Farms COO. “We have big plans for our future in eggs and value-added egg products.”
The purchase will give Cooper Farms an additional two million chicken egg-layers and the ability to raise up to six million pullets, for their own needs and outside customers. These birds are raised by more than 40 farmers, who will be joining Cooper Farms as contract growers.
“We are especially interested in the variety of specialty egg layers we are gaining,” said Cooper. “We see an opportunity to expand those numbers as we gain more niche customers”
Cooper Farms will also acquire a feed mill, Cooper Farms’ fourth, which will produce approximately 400,000 tons of feed in 2015. This mill will offer the ability to create specialty feeds and accept specialty grains.
The equity’s 75 team members have been asked to stay on as members of the Cooper Farms team as well. With these individuals, Cooper Farms will employ nearly 1,700 people total throughout northwest and west central Ohio.
“We are gaining a wonderful group of people with this acquisition,” said Cooper. “They have a lot of years of experience and dedication to the company, which will prove instrumental in this transition and as we work to create value-added egg products.”
Cooper Farms has based their success upon a value-added business model, in which they create products that provide consumers with quick and easy meal options.
“Value-added products are something that we focus on throughout our company,” said Cooper. “For example, with meat, we provide turkey burgers, cooked deli meat and sliced meat.”
The company plans to use this way of thinking in their egg division as well. In addition to the specialty egg portion of the business, Cooper Farms wants to also focus on other value-added products.
“We see great potential in providing liquid eggs and cooked egg products,” said Cooper. “We are working on a partnership with an Ohio-based company to purchase a new egg-breaking plant which will add to our value added egg product line.”
This transition has been a goal of the Cooper Farms team and family for many years, making the acquisition a welcome and exciting one for all involved.
“We had been looking at a variety of egg-related companies for the past few years in an attempt to enhance our egg division,” said Cooper. “We started seriously working on purchasing Fort Recovery Equity this spring, so we are excited to see it come to fruition.”