McDonald's supplier buys Chester County site in $400M deal

Marfrig Alimentos SA, the Brazilian firm that bought Herb Lotman's Keystone Foods, the West Conshohocken meat processor that invested the Chicken McNugget, last year for $1.3 billion, has agreed to sell Keystone's trucking and distribution unit, including its Coatesville plan (which employs 165) and others in the Midwest, to Illinois-based Reyes Holdings' Martin-Brower Logistics Co. LLC, for $400 million.

Like Keystone, Martin-Brower is a distributor and processor for McDonald's, the fast-food chain that holds half the US hamburger-joint market. Marfrig sold the business as sales, profits and share prices are down at its diversified meat-packing operations, Bloomberg reports here. Boss Mario Molina told Bloomberg he'd planned to sell the trucking business all along.  

"It's a good match. Our locations are where they aren't," at four US sites and other cities in Europe and Asia, Jay Pomeroy, spokesman at Keystone, told me. I asked if volatile meat prices and sales have hurt Keystone. "Every compnay is fighting a battle in the protein industry. But we're still humming," he said. 

"There are no plans to consolidate" Keystone's local operations with Martin-Brower plants in Connecticut, Virginia and other states, Martin-Brower spokeswoman Molly Reilly confirmed.

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