Tyson Sells Assets To Focus On Protein

Tyson Foods shifts its mission to focus as a protein company, rather than just a meat company. ( Tyson Foods )

Tyson Foods, Inc., sells its Sara Lee® Frozen Bakery and Van’s® businesses to private equity firm Kohlberg & Company, the company announced.

“These are great assets with outstanding team members; however, we’re focused on expanding Tyson Foods’ leadership position in protein,” said Sally Grimes, Group President, Prepared Foods.  “We believe these brands and facilities will do well as part of Kohlberg, which has extensive experience buying and growing businesses.”

The sale includes the Chef Pierre®, Bistro Collection® and Van’s® brands, and a license to use the Sara Lee® brand in certain channels. The deal also includes the sale of the company’s Tarboro, N.C. and Traverse City, Mich. prepared foods facilities and a sales office in Canada. The 1,160 team members employed at the two facilities and sales office are expected to keep their positions with the new company.

Tyson, the Springdale, Ark.-based company with $38 billion in revenue last year, has recently invested in lab-grown meat start-ups Beyond Meat and Memphis Meats.

In 2016, Tyson initiated Tyson Ventures with $150 to invest. Tyson ventures now has a stake in four companies, which, analysts say, indicate a shift in the company’s mission – to strive to be a protein company, not just a meat company.